Four days before he was to appear in court to confront an East Baltimore man charged with shooting him, David Golden allegedly took justice into his own hands by firing two bullets into the man he was to testify against.
Police said Golden shot Kobie Lee Farmer on Thursday night, sending him to the hospital. The shooting has landed Golden in jail and caused some last-minute rescheduling in Baltimore Circuit Court, where Farmer's attempted murder trial was to begin yesterday.
Prosecutors had been planning to portray Farmer as the would-be killer of Golden; now, they must also prepare a case against Golden as the would-be killer of Farmer.
State's attorneys say this type of alleged retaliation happens frequently in the city because the code of the street often dictates that people settle their scores outside the courtroom.
"This case is not unusual in many respects," said Margaret T. Burns, spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office. "Disputes are settled by who pulls the trigger first. These cases are almost routine in our office now."
Golden, 25, is also charged with shooting at police Officer Marcus Simpson on Thursday night in East Baltimore, minutes after police say he shot Farmer, 26.
According to court documents, Simpson saw the shooting in which Farmer was wounded at about 10:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of N. Durham St.
The officer then chased Golden, who fired at least one shot at Simpson's head as he ran, documents show.
The bullet missed, and Simpson was able to catch and arrest Golden, according to the documents.
Golden is charged with shooting James Crawford in the same incident; Farmer and Crawford had been arguing with Golden before the shooting, documents show.
Both gunshot victims were in stable condition yesterday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
Golden, of the 200 block of S. Washington St., is being held without bail at the city jail.
The events leading up to Golden's arrest began in October, when he was shot two weeks after his sister, Angela Dawson, her husband and five children died because of an arson at their East Baltimore rowhouse.
Police say the home was firebombed by drug dealers because Dawson had been a vocal neighborhood force against drug pushers.
However, Golden's troubles have no apparent connection to his sister's death. He was shot Oct. 29 last year in the face, stomach and arm in his East Baltimore home in the 1000 block of New Hope Circle.
Farmer was arrested, and two months later he was released on $100,000 bail. He is charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault, handgun violations and related charges.
Prosecutors said Golden is the key witness in the case against Farmer, but he was uncooperative and difficult to find in the months after the shooting.
He also declined to be relocated by the witness assistance program, prosecutors said.
Farmer's case was postponed in May and July because Golden could not be located at the time of trial, according to Burns.
On July 18, Golden could not be found by prosecutors, and a judge issued a witness warrant to have Golden arrested to ensure he would show up for trial. He was arrested five days later and released after telling a judge he would be present for trial.