Baltimore prosecutors are appealing the ruling this week of a Circuit Court judge to suppress key evidence in the murder case against a former firefighter.
Daniel Greene, 36, of Norrisville, in Harford County, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Jon Hickey, 31, at his home in Upper Fells Point.
At issue is the police interview with a woman who claimed she recognized Greene on surveillance footage of someone entering an Upper Fells Point home before the killing. Police found Hickey, a city firefighter recruit, shot in the inside on Nov. 30.
Defense attorney Warren Brown said the woman identified the figure on the video as Greene, but that she did not say Greene’s name without prodding from police.
“They outright told her a couple times — that’s him,” Brown said. “It was blatant.”
Brown argued in court this week that the judge should suppress the identification. Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock agreed and ruled the identification was not reliable.
Prosecutors have filed a notice with the courts that they intend to appeal.
Melba Saunders, spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office, declined to discuss the case.
“It’s an open and pending matter, and we cannot comment,” she said.
Brown says prosecutors are unlikely to convince the appeals court to overturn the ruling. He expects prosecutors to drop the case if they can’t use the evidence.
“That guts their case,” he said. “The have no case without it.”
Murdock ordered Greene, 36 to remain jailed without bail while prosecutors appeal. The Court of Special Appeals has four months to rule, Brown said.
Brown said the case hinged on the identification of Greene.
“They don't have DNA. They don’t have fingerprints. They don’t have statements,” he said. “They don’t have anything else.”
Police arrested Greene about a week after the killing. Hickey was a Baltimore County volunteer firefighter and photographer, who had been accepted into the next recruit class for the city fire department.
Greene worked as a firefighter in Prince George’s County from 2002 to 2013.
Police said Greene had dated Hickey’s girlfriend, and the killing was domestic in nature. Greene has maintained his innocence.