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Crime

Jury acquits man in murder case with testimony from BGF leader Tavon White

A Baltimore man was acquitted by jurors Tuesday of all counts related to a fatal shooting following a trial in which former Black Guerrilla Family leader Tavon White was one of the prosecution's witnesses.

Freddie Curry, 44, was acquitted of first-degree murder and all related charges in the 2011 killing of 30-year-old Raynard Benjamin in the 800 block of W. Pratt St. Jurors deliberated for about an hour before reaching the verdict, according to defense attorney Ivan Bates.

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Curry was first charged in the case in 2011, but the charges were dropped. Prosecutors re-filed the case in 2014 following White's cooperation in a sweeping racketeering case focused on corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center. He will be released from jail following his acquittal.

White, brought in under heavy security, testified last week that Curry confided in him that he had killed Benjamin and that BGF members tried to kill Curry in retaliation, stabbing him in an attack inside the jail. White said on the stand that the "call came down [from gang leadership] for Freddie Curry to be deleted."

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Another witness struck a plea deal with prosecutors to testify, but in court refused to cooperate.

Bates said the State's Attorney's Office wasted money "transporting and flying Tavon White, a pathological liar, in to testify about rumors that he heard at the jail."

Bates praised prosecutors but said the case was "an example of the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office not understanding how to prepare their cases."

The State's Attorney's Office said it was disheartened by the verdict. "It is unfortunate that the family of the victim has not been afforded the justice they deserve. The Black Guerilla Family gang's murderous rampage on our streets will not be tolerated and the Office of the State's Attorney will continue to prosecute individuals that engage in this senseless violence."

jfenton@baltsun.com


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