On Sept. 9, during the second murder trial for a 19-year-old defendant, his defense counsel questioned the Baltimore Police Department’s procedure in collecting evidence and identifying suspects.
Tracy Allen Jones, who was 16 years old at the time of the incident, is charged with first-degree murder and three weapons charges for allegedly shooting 21-year-old Davron Dorsey outside the EZ-Shop Grocery store on the 3100 block of W. Belvedere Avenue on June 27, 2019. The defendant’s first trial concluded in December 2021 but was ruled a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
Defense attorney Michael Tomko cross-examined five witnesses who testified in Jones’ first trial. Four of the witnesses were law enforcement officers, all of whom testified to the procedural elements of the investigation, as well as the evidence presented by the prosecutor at trial.
Tomko questioned the thoroughness of the two officers who arrived at the scene of the shooting as well as the roles they played in recovering evidence and potential eyewitness statements.
Defense counsel also asked one of the responding officers if they made any efforts to speak with civilians in the area after the night of the murder.
In response, the officer said there were no conversations with residents “in reference to the incident” after the night of the shooting.
Tomko questioned a third detective about the order for the search and seizure warrant of the defendant’s residence, which included a SWAT raid.
“Why was it important for you to stand on the porch with your colleagues for a considerable amount of time without searching the residence?” said Tomko.
The detective said it took time for the crime lab technicians to take photos of the residence. The witness had “no recollection” of searching for items in the residence for potential DNA evidence.
When asked why he “abandoned the search” after recovering a clothing item matching the description of the suspect, the witness denied having done so.
Audible chuckles and quiet gasps were heard in the gallery of the courtroom during several lines of questioning by defense regarding alleged procedural mismanagement during evidence collection and the suspect identification process.
During testimony from the fifth witness, the prosecution said that during the time of the murder, Jones drove by the victim twice on a fat-tire bike, allegedly shooting Dorsey twice on his second ride past the grocery store.
“Describe how you knew this was Jones,” Tomko questioned in reference to the suspect captured on surveillance footage of the incident.
The officer responded that he had become familiar with Jones while patrolling the neighborhood in the months prior to the shooting and that he had “no doubts” the defendant was the shooter in question.
Trial resumed on Sept. 12.
Read more about this case, here.