Attempted Murder Defendant Complains about Housing, Representation

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On Nov. 9, a 43-year-old attempted murder defendant raised concerns over his rights to Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Dana M. Middleton after rejecting a 35-year plea offer.

Juan Jumal Foster is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, firearm use in a felony violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, possession of firearm in a controlled dangerous substance offense, having a handgun on his person and in his vehicle and discharging firearms in connection to May 11, 2022, incident.

The prosecutor offered Foster a sentence of life, suspending all but 35 years of incarceration, in exchange for a guilty plea to attempted first-degree murder.

Though the prosecutor had relayed her offer to Foster’s intermediate attorney, Gregory Fischer, Foster had not yet discussed it with his new panel attorney, Deborah Warner-Dennis. After speaking to her privately, Warner-Dennis told the court he rejected the offer.

Before the hearing ended, Foster addressed the court to express his dissatisfaction with what he called “discrepancies” in his case. 

First, he began by saying he’s been in pretrial detention for 13 months and though he’s had no infractions in jail and is considered a medium-minimum security inmate, he was transferred to a maximum security facility after 10 months. Prison personnel told him this was to “make space” in the jail. A case manager told him he could potentially bring legal action against the Department of Corrections for this action. 

Foster’s second issue was that his previous panel attorney, Tara G. LeCompte, allegedly did not represent him properly and caused his case to be delayed. He concluded by saying these two issues together were a violation of rights, though he did not specify which rights, and asked to be put on home detention. 

Judge Middleton told him that she was not able to address these specific concerns in this hearing. But in regards to his extended stay in pretrial detention, she said, “No one takes that lightly.”

The judge reassured Foster that his attorney would file a motion to get him a new bail review and scheduled his four-day trial to begin on April 29, 2024. 

Documents from the District Court of Maryland state that Foster allegedly shot the victim, his co-defendant’s boyfriend, from the passenger side window of her car before driving away from the 3800 block of Tivoli Avenue. The victim was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital with a shattered left thigh bone.

Foster was identified by the victim to police. Cell phone location data and surveillance footage corroborated his presence at the scene.

His codefendant, Amber Robinson Bijou, is scheduled for trial on Nov. 13. 

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