A prosecutor who has tried Keith Davis Jr. three times for the killing of a Pimlico security guard is no longer with the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Andrea Mason’s attorney characterized the separation Wednesday as a firing.
Word of Mason’s departure came as Davis’ wife raised questions this week about why the state's attorney's office allowed Mason to stay on the case despite her own arrest and conviction on drunken driving charges last year.
Kelly Davis took to Twitter on Tuesday to question why State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby “did not hold her accountable.”
“I think this is completely unacceptable,” Kelly Davis said in an interview. “It’s a pattern. Professional ethics don’t seem to matter to the state’s attorney’s office. No one bats an eye — an office that is tasked with upholding the law.”
When asked about Mason’s conviction on Tuesday, Mosby spokeswoman Melba Saunders said in an email: “We do not comment on personnel matters.”
On Wednesday, in response to follow-up questions, Saunders replied in an email: “She is a former employee and we do not comment on personnel matters.”
She did not respond to additional questions.
Mason, 59, was arrested and charged with DWI — driving while impaired by alcohol — after she was the driver of a vehicle that caused a multiple-vehicle crash in Towson on May 12, 2017, according to Baltimore County police charging documents. The crash occurred hours after a jury began deliberations in Davis' first trial.
Davis, 27, is charged with fatally shooting Kevin Jones as he was walking to his job at the track on June 7, 2015. Hours after the killing, prosecutors said, Davis ran from a robbery and was chased by police, who shot and wounded him in a nearby garage. Almost a year later, police said a .22-caliber pistol they recovered from where Davis was shot matched the gun used to kill Jones.
His first trial ended in a mistrial, and Mason went on to prosecute Davis two more times. A fourth trial is scheduled for November.
Mason was found guilty of driving while impaired by alcohol in August 2017 and sentenced to 60 days in jail, all of which was suspended, and placed on supervised probation, court records show.
Mason’s attorney, Gary S. Bernstein, said Wednesday that his client reported the incident to her office at the time and did not use her position as an assistant state’s attorney to influence the outcome of the case.
“She did it completely by the book,” he said in an interview.
Bernstein called reporting on the arrest more than a year later “unfair and salacious.” He said his client is being personally attacked for pursuing the contentious Davis case, and that she was fired only after questions were raised this week. He questioned why the state’s attorney’s office waited until a year later to fire Mason.
“This happened a year and three months ago,” Bernstein said. “The state’s attorney’s office knew about it. To fire her now is a cowardly and senseless act. It’s totally, utterly disgraceful.”
Mason, through her attorney, declined to comment.
Kelly Davis for years has been campaigning publicly for the state’s attorney’s office to drop charges against her husband. She and other supporters of her husband have confronted Mosby about the case at public events as she sought re-election this year.
Asked about Mason’s departure, Kelly Davis said, “I am actually shocked that she has been fired.”
But she said the timing of it — only after the charges became public — reflected badly on the state’s attorney. “Marilyn Mosby was willing to bury this. Had it not been public, Mason would not be facing consequences,” she said.
According to the charging documents in Mason’s case, county police were called at 8:32 p.m. May 12, 2017 to Goucher Boulevard at Taylor Avenue for a crash. A county officer who questioned Mason at the scene said in charging documents that she appeared to have red, glassy, bloodshot eyes, and that she was swaying. The officer wrote that Mason’s speech was slurred.
The officer wrote in the document that he also noticed a strong smell of alcohol, and that Mason told him she had left work and was returning home. She told him she worked at the state’s attorney’s office and gave him the address of 120 E. Baltimore St. downtown, the document said.
When the officer asked her how much she had to drink, she told him nothing, according to the document. The officer later asked if she would complete a sobriety test, and she asked him, “Can I go home?” the document said.
When the officer told her to cooperate or he would arrest her, she responded, “Arrest me,” and the officer placed her under arrest, the document said.
At the Towson Precinct, the officer said, Mason refused to take a breath test, the document said. Later, when an officer removed her shackles at the precinct, she told him, “You know this is why people hate police, right?” according to the document.
Although Mason did not take a breathalyzer test, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said his office routinely secures convictions without them.
“We regularly rely on observations in order to win cases,” he said.
Meanwhile, Davis’ first trial in May 2017 ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked. He was found guilty of second-degree murder last October, but a judge reversed the conviction and ordered a new trial because information about a key witness was not disclosed. His third trial in June ended in a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
During Davis’ third trial, his attorney, Natalie Finegar, accused prosecutors of withholding three surveillance videos from near where the shooting occurred that the state had not disclosed previously and could serve as exculpatory evidence.
“It was one of the worst discovery violations I’ve actually seen in my career as a criminal defense attorney,” Finegar told The Baltimore Sun in June.
The judge agreed that the state should have disclosed the videos earlier to the defense, but ruled it was “an unintended” nondisclosure.