73-Year-Old Man Charged in 1973 Double Homicide Will Remain in Community Under Pre-Trial Supervision

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A 73-year-old Baltimore man accused of committing a double homicide in 1973 will remain released but under pre-trial supervision, after mental health professionals found him incompetent to stand trial and not restorable due to ongoing medical issues.

Gold Leroy Bass Jr. has been in and out of Baltimore City Circuit Court since earlier this year when his defense counsel, Janine Meckler, raised concerns over his competency before the start of his retrial before Judge Jennifer Schiffer in January. The defendant’s case was transferred to Judge Gale Rasin, who granted Meckler’s request for a mental health evaluation.

Bass is charged with first-degree murder and use of a handgun in committing a crime in two separate cases for the fatal shooting of Harry McGee and Nathaniel Sheppard on Dec. 21, 1973. According to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Bass shot the two victims during a drug deal outside Wakefield Apartments on the 4900 block of Challedon Road.

On May 10, Judge Rasin read the Maryland Department of Health’s April evaluation, which stated that Bass was not a danger to himself or others and not restorable after suffering a heart attack and stroke, which caused additional medical issues.

“The aftermath of the stroke has actually manifested itself,” the judge said, noting that counsel, including Meckler and defense attorney Sharon Bogins Eberhart, agreed that Bass was not eligible for civil commitment and recommended he remain in the community.

Bass currently resides with his sister and was released on his own recognizance in October 2021, but not under pre-trial supervision. Bass and his sister must maintain contact with a pre-trial agent, who will make monthly reports to the court on the first Wednesday of every month, beginning June 7.

“You are able to stay in the community, living with your sister, and you are permitted to be out and about as she thinks is wise,” Judge Rasin said to Bass during Wednesday’s proceeding.

“If you do not do that or the court is concerned that you are somehow dangerous in the community, the result will be that you will be committed to a facility,” she concluded, acknowledging that she doesn’t anticipate any problems.

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