The lawyer for a man charged with murder in a shooting witnessed by an Annapolis police officer accused city police yesterday of withholding evidence that implicates another man in the killing.
"They made a determination that someone did it and hid information that someone else did it," District Public Defender Alan R. Friedman told Circuit Court Judge Bruce C. Williams.
Friedman, who is representing Angelo Corado Chambers, 36, of Annapolis, complained that he was told only recently of witness statements made within days of the slaying last February that a man with the street name "Jamaican D" was the gunman.
Friedman asked for and received a postponement in Chambers' trial, which had been scheduled to begin next Tuesday.
Williams denied Friedman's motion to dismiss the case, but said the public defender had a "valid complaint" and said it was "appropriate" that the trial be postponed to allow the defense time to investigate the witnesses' claims.
Friedman and Assistant State's Attorney William C. Mulford II said they would come up with a new trial date in the next two or three weeks.
Williams also agreed to reduce the bond for Chambers, who has been held at the county detention center since his arrest last February, from $50,000 to $25,000.
Chambers is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of DeLloyd E. Harris Jr., 27, of the 1600 block Clay Hill Road in St. Margarets. Harris had been shot once in the groin and twice in the side during a fight last Feb. 13 on Clay Street in the city. His cousin, Kelvin Leroy Ireland, of St. Margarets, was also shot in the side.
Michael J. Jones, 26, of the 200 block Croll Drive, was arrested in a nearby graveyard shortly after the killing and charged with first-degree murder, but Mulford said the charge was later reduced to battery.
Mulford said during yesterday's hearing that Officer Karen Youssi of the Annapolis police was an eyewitness to the killing. He said the officer picked Chambers out of a line-up and out of a photo array that also included "Jamaica D."
Police reports show Youssi was driving to back up another officer when she happened upon the crime scene at the intersection of Clay and West Washington streets at about 11 p.m. Feb. 13.
But Friedman said that he was told on Sept. 7 that as early as Feb. 16 Annapolis police had been told that "Jamaican D" shot Harris. Friedman said "Jamaican D" is the street name for Dexter Harvey Brown, who was wanted for murder in Prince George's County.
In his written pleading, Friedman named five witnesses who implicated Brown between Feb. 16 and Feb. 26. But he complained that Annapolis police Detective Kenneth Custer did not initially investigate the allegations and, in fact, said he doubted such a person existed.
After Prince George's County police arrested Brown on an open murder warrant, Brown told Custer that Chambers was the gunman, Friedman said, but he added that Brown later told him a different story. Friedman offered to describe his interview with Brown in the judge's chambers.
Mulford said police did not deliberately withhold information.
"I think there was some miscommunication in the ranks," the prosecutor said. "As soon as this Dexter Harvey Brown was discovered, he was investigated."