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Woman helped lead attack, prosecutor says

The Baltimore Sun

A 32-year-old Edgewood woman helped lead a violent attack that left a neighbor paralyzed, a Harford County prosecutor said yesterday in opening statements at the woman's trial in Harford County Circuit Court.

The lawyer for Natasha Terresa Fowlkes, however, said she was on her way to do laundry when she saw a mob clustered at a house in the 1900 block of Eloise Lane and only tried to make sure her daughter was safe.

Fowlkes is charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, and one count each of possession of a dangerous weapon and malicious destruction of property. A charge of attempted first-degree murder was dropped last month.

She is one of nine people accused of participating in a brawl the evening of Nov. 25 that sent three people to the hospital, including Gregory J. Simmons, 44, who was paralyzed from the waist down.

A crowd gathered at Simmons' Edgewood home because of his daughter's relationship with a teenage boy, said Assistant State's Attorney Joel C. Muneses. Police have said that Simmons was attacked when he told the group to leave.

"They were there to do serious, bodily harm," Muneses said of the group. Simmons "is constantly beaten by the defendant. Her daughter is allowed to go and stab him in the back, which severs his spinal cord. And while he's lying on the ground, bleeding, the defendant continues to beat Mr. Simmons."

The defendant's 16-year-old daughter, Shamere Germany, faces 18 charges, including attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to court records.

Fowlkes' nieces, Tommyrre Ellysse Reid, 16, and Layelle Shalae Reid, 15, were acquitted last month of charges in the brawl. A judge dismissed most of the 18 charges against them, and a jury found them not guilty on the remaining ones.

Fowlkes' attorney, Timothy Streett, said that there is "not a shred of evidence" that Fowlkes used a baseball bat to beat Simmons.

"The fact is that my client [was] at that area," Streett said. "But it's not enough to convict somebody."

He also questioned the prosecution's account of the incident, saying Fowlkes was walking with her mother to do laundry at her sister's house.

"What all these people were up to was fighting over a boy- which is childish, juvenile," he said. "It doesn't make sense why the mother and a grandmother would get involved."

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