‘39 Babies’ Gang Members’ Special Scheduling Meeting Ends Fruitlessly

Baltimore Court Seal

Thank you for reading Baltimore Witness. Help us continue our mission into 2024.

Donate Now

In the week since the “39 Babies” gang members’ last Baltimore City Circuit Court reception court hearing before Judge Melissa M. Phinn, the prosecutor and defense attorneys were not able to agree upon a trial date before 2024.

The prosecutor for the cases against Pierre Briggs, Karon Tyree Johnson, Donye Thompson and Gregory Beadles told Judge Phinn on July 24 that defense attorneys Angela Shelton, James Sweeting III and Staci Pipkin were not available for a five-week trial in 2023.

Judge Phinn suggested possibly splitting up the defendants’ trials in pairs to shorten the amount of time necessary for one trial. Judge Phinn told the attorneys, “This case is taking up too much time on my calendar.” 

Sweeting told her his trial of Thompson, 27, and Beadles, 22, would take three weeks, and then Judge Phinn suggested they try one person at a time. However, the prosecutor told Judge Phinn she would prefer at least two at a time.

Judge Phinn and the attorneys began attempting to pick a trial date for just Beadles and Thompson’s trials. Judge Phinn agreed to give them the first week of December, but the prosecutor said she would rather try all four at one time. She suggested four weeks in January. 

Judge Phinn told her and the defense attorneys that the 2024 calendar is still not open for her to assign cases to it, but it will open in October. She told all attorneys to come back in October to hopefully schedule the trial on the 2024 calendar.

Sweeting told Judge Phinn that he was not available in October, so they all agreed to return on Nov. 13. Sweeting also asked for a day to hold a motions hearing based on discovery in November for Thompson only. Phinn scheduled him before Judge Christopher L. Panos on Nov. 8.
According to CBS News, the attorney general’s office reported that Briggs and Johnson, both 22, Thompson and Beadles were part of an indictment linking 11 gang members to eight attempted murders and four homicides.

Follow this case