10 Baltimore-area trials to follow in 2019

In Maryland this year, two alleged gunmen are to stand trial for deadly attacks on workplaces. Four teenagers are to stand trial for allegedly killing a Baltimore County police officer. And a man is due in court on charges that he fatally shot a second-grader in the back.

The coming year will bring several high-profile trials to the Baltimore region. From murder cases against alleged Capital Gazette mass shooter Jarrod Ramos to that of teen Dawnta Harris, whom police say drove a Jeep into the officer while three others were burglarizing a home, here’s a look at some of the biggest trials of 2019.

All dates are tentative; cases could be postponed, defendants could enter guilty pleas, or prosecutors could drop charges.

Baltimore man charged in days-long deadly shooting spree

Feb. 4, Baltimore Circuit Court

In December 2017, police confronted a harrowing scene with a driver shooting a rifle indiscriminately while he led officers on a car chase through West Baltimore. The barrage ended when the gunman’s Lexus slowed near Mondawmin Mall and a woman, later found to be his girlfriend, ran into the street and dragged him to the ground as his car drifted away. By the end, two people were shot and killed while several others were wounded. Police charged Mausean Carter, 31, of North Baltimore, with murder, attempted murder, weapons charges, assault and reckless endangerment. Carter faces life in prison if convicted. He cleared a court-ordered mental evaluation to stand trial, though his attorney has said he is schizophrenic.

Second-grader Taylor Hayes is shot in the back and killed

Feb. 13, Baltimore Circuit Court

Second-grader Taylor Hayes was buried last July in a coffin embroidered with “princess.” She had been fatally shot while riding in the back seat of a car in Southwest Baltimore. Police say they found a loaded gun, digital scale and heroin in the car. They charged Keon Gray, 29, with shooting into the car and killing Taylor. Police have not offered up a motive for the shooting.

Trio charged in what police call mistaken killing of high school lacrosse captain

Feb. 25, March 4 and 12, Baltimore Circuit Court

Last spring, Baltimore City College High School Junior Ray Glasgow III was touring college campuses, dancing at prom and captaining his varsity lacrosse team to a city championship. The 17-year-old was shot and killed three days before the big game in what police called a case of mistaken identity. Gunmen shot up a parked car with Glasgow inside and wounded another teen in the car. Police charged three people in the shooting: Shawn Little, Bradley Mitchell and Eric Jackson. The three are being tried separately. His death clouded the championship game. His teammates draped his jersey on the bench. There were tears all around when they lost.

Deadly workplace shooting at Edgewood granite company

Feb. 27, Harford County Circuit Court

Radee Prince is charged with three counts of murder for allegedly opening fire on his co-workers at Advanced Granite Solutions in Harford County. The October 2017 attack left three people dead and two others injured. The shooting set off a daylong manhunt in Harford County and also Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Prince was arrested in Newark, Del. Last May, he was convicted in Delaware of attempted manslaughter and gun charges. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, then extradited to Harford County to stand trial on the shootings at Advanced Granite.

Teens charged in killing of Baltimore County police officer

April 22, Baltimore County Circuit Court

Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio was checking a suspicious Jeep in Perry Hall when police say she encountered 16-year-old Dawnta Harris. She attempted to pull the Jeep over, then got out of her police car and ordered Harris out. Police say he drove, fatally struck her, and fled the scene. He is charged with murder, as are three other teens whom police say were with him and outside the car burglarizing homes. The case will be a test of state felony murder laws that allow authorities to bring murder charges against co-defendants when a felony crime results in death. Caprio’s death also set off a firestorm of debate, much of it racially charged; she was white; the teens, black. Prominent defense attorney Warren Brown said he received threats for representing Harris.

Man allegedly killed pastor and teacher’s aide in case of mistaken identity

May 6, U.S. District Court in Baltimore

Months after Latrina Ashburne was shot and killed outside her home in North Baltimore, police said they believed she was mistakenly thought to be a witness and gunned down. Federal authorities charged Davon Carter, of Parkville, with conspiracy to murder a witness. Questions continue to surround the case. In court filings, federal prosecutors suggested in an indictment that Ashburne was not the intended target, saying that Carter sought to kill an unnamed witness. Meanwhile, police have said they were searching for a second man, a “person of interest,” in her shooting.

Newsroom attack on the Capital-Gazette

June 3, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court

A shogun-wielding man blasted his way inside the Capital-Gazette newsroom in Annapolis last June, killing five people including some of the most senior journalists. Police charged Jarrod Ramos with the killings. Ramos had a longstanding feud against the newspaper. He had unsuccessfully sued The Capital years earlier after it had reported a criminal harassment charge against him. The attack on an American newsroom drew national attention. Time magazine featured the surviving journalists in a photograph on the cover and honored them, along with other journalists under attack around the world, as the “guardians and the War on Truth.” Ramos, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty. His public defender has asked the court for more time to explore the possibility of changing his plea to not criminally responsible by reason of insanity.

Maryland secretary of Information Technology indicted on bribery charges

Not yet scheduled, U.S. District Court in Baltimore

Federal authorities indicted a former Cabinet secretary in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration on bribery charges involving millions of dollars’ worth of state information technology contracts. Isabel FitzGerald, who was secretary of the Department of Information Technology in 2013 and 2014, is accused of pressuring a company, which had contracts worth almost $360 million with a state agency, to subcontract with an Indiana technology firm. In turn, FitzGerald and a man with whom she is described in the indictment as having a “close personal relationship,” are accused of taking one-third of the profits the subcontractor made in the deals.

Towson millionaire allegedly funded lavish lifestyle with elaborate Ponzi scheme

Not yet scheduled, U.S. District Court in Baltimore

Towson businessman Kevin Merrill was arrested in September during a raid on his million-dollar home in Ruxton. He was indicted on federal charges of wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering. Federal prosecutors say he swindled hundreds of investors and business in a $364 million Ponzi scheme. In a splashy press conference, federal authorities showed photos of the fleet of Rolls Royces, Ferraris and Lamborghinis agents seized from Merrill. He faces more than 200 years in federal prison. Authorities said he ran one of the largest Ponzi schemes ever charged in Maryland.

Wrongful death lawsuit over murder of University of Virginia student Yeardley Love

Not yet scheduled, Charlottesville Circuit Court in Virginia.

A long-stalled $30 million lawsuit was refiled last year over the death of Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia student and lacrosse player from Baltimore County. Her one-time boyfriend, George Huguely V, was convicted of second-degree murder for her death in 2010. Huguely is serving a 23-year prison sentence. Her mother, Sharon Love, acting on behalf of her daughter’s estate, had sued Huguely. The lawsuit had been scheduled for trial last July, but was postponed. Sharon Love has refiled the lawsuit and a trial is expected this year.

tprudente@baltsun.com

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