A former Baltimore Police officer accused of killing his 15-year-old stepson in Anne Arundel County elected Thursday afternoon to have his looming murder trial heard by a judge rather than a jury.
Eric Glenn Banks Jr., 35, is scheduled for an eight-day trial next month in Anne Arundel Circuit Court on murder and child abuse charges stemming from the discovery of Dasan Jones’ body hidden in an upstairs loft at the family’s Curtis Bay townhome in July 2021.
Banks waived his right to a jury trial during Thursday’s hearing, the last before his trial is set to start. The homicide case is now scheduled to be heard by Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Stacy W. McCormack.
Banks, who is suspended without pay from the Baltimore Police Department pending the outcome of his trial and a subsequent administrative investigation, will also be tried on separate charges incidental to the case. In the second case, police say the three-year veteran of the city’s police force attempted to grab a gun from an Anne Arundel County Police officer who arrived at the home in response to a reported custody dispute.
When county officers found Jones’ body, Banks asked to say goodbye to his other children and reached for an officer’s gun, saying the officer was “gonna have to end this,” according to charging papers.
Jones’ death was ruled a homicide by asphyxiation, according to charging papers.
Banks, who is held without bail in the Jennifer Road Detention Center, has maintained his innocence since his arrest, when he asserted that he found the teen dead in a bathtub and believed he had committed suicide.
Jones was described as well-liked by classmates at Glen Burnie High School, where he was enrolled in a nursing magnet program. Jones completed his freshman year shortly before his death. He played the violin and was an avid gamer and wanted to attend college to become a surgeon.
Jones’ death on July 6 last year followed months of domestic violence complaints involving Banks and his wife, who was Jones’ mother. She described his behavior as “increasingly erratic” and had filed for two protective orders. The second filing occurred hours before Jones was found dead.
Banks’ trial is scheduled to start Oct. 5 and conclude Oct. 14. He and his defense attorney, Warren Anthony Brown, have until Monday to accept a final plea agreement offered by prosecutors during Thursday’s proceedings.
Asked Friday afternoon if Banks was going to settle the matter with a plea, Brown said he believes his client will go forwardwith a trial.