After calling numerous witnesses Tuesday, the second day of trial for the man accused of killing three people during a 2017 workplace shooting in Edgewood, the prosecution said all its evidence should be presented after Wednesday’s proceedings.
Radee Labeeb Prince, 40, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two attendant gun charges in connection to what prosecutors allege was a workplace shooting at Advanced Granite Solutions — his former place of work — in October of 2017.
Killed in the shooting were Bayarsaikhan Tudev, 53, of Virginia; Jose Hidalgo Romero, 34, of Aberdeen; and Enis Mrvoljak, 48, of Dundalk. Jose Roberto Flores Gillen of Edgewood, and Enoc Sosa of North East, were injured and taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.
In testimony Tuesday, Maryland State Police Detective Michelle Workman said she found a note that Prince left on a bathroom vanity at his Elkton home while conducting a search. The note read “if I don’t make it home, please know I tried.” In its opening statement Monday, the prosecution asserted the note was left for Prince’s girlfriend and indicative of the alleged crime’s premeditation.
Defense attorney John Janowich pointed out that police did not “have firsthand knowledge of who wrote that note,” and who put it there.
A former intern for the granite company Ozan Bulgurcuoglu also testified Tuesday; he was one of the people closest to Prince in the video footage of the incident before the shooting started.
Bulgurcuoglu said it was very loud in the shop when Prince gathered his coworkers together because the cutting machine was on.
“[Prince] started running the machine before the incident,” Bulgurcuoglu said through an interpreter.
Bulgurcuoglu ran out of the shop when the gunshots started and into the office, where he told his coworkers to call 911. He then ran across the street to a hotel because he was scared Prince was following him, he testified.
Amanda Mackie, the former office manager for Advanced Granite, said Bulgurcuoglu ran into the office and was speaking very quickly. He said something she could not understand in Turkish — his first language — and then told her to call 911.
Mackie went over to the shop and saw Prince in his car, she testified. She asked him what had happened, and he told her “I don’t know; I’m going to get help” before driving away. She opened the shop door when he left and saw people lying on the floor. She thought it was a gas leak, and reported it to 911 as a gas leak.
Police who arrived there determined it was an active shooter situation, Sgt. Scott Johnson of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office testified. Deputies spread out to sweep the building, he said. Because some granite cutting is done with high-pressure water jets, and the stone dust needs to be washed away for health reasons, the floor was wet, spreading and diluting blood from the three who were killed, Johnson testified.
“It was like a scene from a horror movie,” he said.
Former employee Shannon Lehr testified that Prince was not working as hard as he usually did when he saw him the day of the shooting. Prince had his back turned to the machine, he said.
“He was not very attentive to the machinery like he usually [was],” Lehr recalled. “Typically he was on top of it.”
Defense attorney Mary Pizzo cross-examined Lehr, asking about his coworkers — two of whom he lived with — and if there was any horsing around at the shop. Lehr said everybody participated in the pranks, like hitting a post with a hammer or dropping some wood to make a loud noise. Pizzo asked if he thought Prince was being targeted or singled out, but Lehr testified that was not the case.
“It is not like he was the victim of it,” Lehr said.
Defense attorneys also repeatedly objected to several of the prosecution’s exhibits, mainly those pictures that showed the deceased at the business. Several private discussions with the judge were held behind closed doors.
Michael Wilsynski, a forensic specialist with the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, testified that five spent .380-caliber cartridges were found in close proximity to the bodies. A bullet was found embedded in the wall after lancing through a person, and more bullet fragments were recovered from Enoc Sosa’s wound to the head.
Cross-examining Wilsynski, Pizzo noted that many other people had been in and out of the building by the time Wilsynski entered at 9:50 a.m. She also noted that Wilsynski had given the recovered evidence to Delaware State Police, who were investigating Prince in connection to another shooting that same day in Wilmington.
In court, evidence must have a strict, documented chain of custody to ensure its authenticity, often denoted by various colors of tape. Pizzo noted that some of the envelopes that held the shell casings had three different colors of evidence tape on them. Wilsynski said Delaware police conducted a comparison between them and evidence they had collected, but could not say exactly what they had done because he was not present for it.
Prince was arrested in Newark, Delaware, after agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives saw him walking on a sidewalk during a “multi-state manhunt,” ATF special agent Tim Moore testified Tuesday. Law enforcement received a tip that he was seen in Newark and police cars descended upon a small street. Seeing the concentration of cops on the street, Moore and his two partners decided to scope out the rest of the area.
Driving an unmarked minivan around the area, Moore thought he saw someone across the street whose clothing matched the latest description of Prince’s, so he wheeled the car around and pulled up to him. His partner, James Keay, lowered his window and leveled a rifle outside of it, Moore testified.
The agents swept up on Prince and Keay yelled at him to stop. Prince, according to Moore, gave Keay a “long vacant stare,” and kept his left hand in his pocket.
“It is a situation where, if he moves, I am going to have to shoot him,” Keay testified. “I do not want to shoot him.”
Keay said Prince stared at him for a few seconds before bolting. The agents got out of the car and chased him. At one point, Prince pulled a gun from his left pocket and dropped it as he ran, Moore said. Keay and Moore both testified they heard a signature clatter of metal hitting concrete. Moore was closest to him and saw the gun drop.
Eventually, Prince stopped running, and Moore put him in handcuffs. They searched him and found ammunition and a receipt from Walmart for the bullets.
Defense attorney Marcus Jenkins seized on Moore’s description of Prince’s stare, paralleling it with the desensitized “thousand-yard stare” experienced by soldiers. In its opening statement, the defense stated that mental illness is a factor in Prince’s case.
The trial will continue Wednesday. It is scheduled to last through the end of next week, but in the final moments of trial Tuesday, prosecutors said they likely only had one more day’s worth of evidence to present. The defense will then be able to present its witnesses.