Three men convicted in fatal shooting of toddler in Cherry Hill in 2013

Baltimore jurors convict three men in 2013 fatal shooting of 16-month-old Carter Scott in Cherry Hill neighbor

Baltimore jurors convicted three men Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a 16-month-old boy in Cherry Hill in 2013.

Eddie Tarver, 23, Dequan Shields, 23, and Rashid Mayo, 25, were convicted of first-degree murder and related charges in the death of Carter Scott, who was in the back seat of his father's vehicle when a group of men opened fire.

The boy's father, Rashaw Scott, was the intended target; he was wounded but survived.

The three men were also convicted of attempting to murder Rashaw Scott. There was no apparent reaction from the defendants as the verdict was read.

Homicide Detective Jonathan Jones, who investigated the case and was present for the verdict, said he was "happy that the jurors looked at all the evidence and took their time to deliberate."

"The family of Carter Scott is appreciative," Jones said.

It was the defendants' second trial in the shooting. A two-month trial last year ended with the conviction of one man, Cornell Harvey. A lone holdout caused jurors to deadlock on charges against Tarver, Shields, Mayo and a fourth man, Reginald Love.

Love's case was separated this time, and the 28-year-old is scheduled for trial next week.

The Scott case underscored the difficulties that prosecutors often confront in trying to get witnesses and victims to testify. Rashaw Scott refused to come to court for the first trial and was arrested on a bench warrant.

After the shooting, prosecutors said, Rashaw Scott told investigators from his hospital bed that he was "set up" by Harvey.

Assistant State's Attorney Tonya Lapolla said Harvey asked Scott for a ride to the Cherrydale Apartments on May 24, 2013.

Harvey got out of the vehicle and as Scott waited, a group of men wearing latex gloves and armed with handguns ran toward the car and fired at least 16 shots, Lapolla said. Scott moved toward the car seat to protect his son, who was shot in the legs and bled to death.

Officers in the area pursued fleeing suspects and a police helicopter tracked a vehicle for six miles to West Baltimore. Tarver was caught there after bailing out of the car.

Love and Shields were linked to the crime through DNA found on gloves at the scene and in the getaway car.

Mayo was picked out of a photo lineup by an officer who said he saw him get into the car before it sped away. Mayo was arrested in Louisiana two months after the killing.

During the first trial, Rashaw Scott testified that police coerced and coached him to provide the statements he made about the shooting while in a hospital recovering from his wounds.

Harvey, who was not convicted of having fired any shots, received two life sentences plus 50 years. He maintained that he was innocent and told Circuit Judge John Addison Howard that he did not receive a fair trial.

Court records show that Harvey is scheduled to plead guilty Feb. 25 in federal District Court to unspecified charges in a case in which he is alleged to have been part of a Cherry Hill gang called Up Da Hill. Its members are alleged to have committed six killings, not including that of Carter Scott.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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