Attempted Murder Defendant Found Not Guilty On All Charges

Baltimore Courthouse

Keith Johnson was found not guilty on all charges on Nov. 10 for the attempted murder of a 32-year-old man in an alleged shooting following a jury deliberation of less than 25 minutes.  

During closing arguments on Nov. 10, the prosecutor said her main point was to find out the truth about what happened on that day, which resulted in someone being shot two times. The prosecutor said the victim told the truth about who broke into his home and proceeded to shoot him twice, reiterating that it was Johnson who forced himself into the home with a gun. 

The prosecutor also added that although the victim changed his story three months later, he did not lie about what happened.  

She suggested that Johnson thoroughly thought about the crime beforehand, especially since he allegedly committed the crime with another unidentified man. Johnson allegedly threatened the victim with a gun and stole approximately $640. 

During defense attorney Tony Garcia’s closing argument, he argued that no one should believe the victim’s initial statement because he confessed to lying to the police to save himself. However, the victim attempted to tell the police he identified the wrong person, but the police would not meet with him.

The victim also wrote a letter, made a video, and held a press conference in an attempt to exonerate Johnson. 

The prosecutor still refused to give Johnson bail even though he’s never been arrested in his entire life prior to this incident. Garcia also said that Johnson had no real motive to shoot the victim and that the motive over the alleged fight made no sense. 

Garcia added that there was no scientific evidence, such as fingerprints, signs of a struggle, DNA, text messages, phone records, or a video to prove Johnson is guilty. No other witness identified Johnson, and the police found nothing incriminating in his mother’s home where he lived, his car, or place of work during their raid. 

Defense counsel suggested that the victim was shot from a drug deal went wrong. 

The prosecution called the victim to testify on Nov. 9 when the victim stated that he was attempting to sell drugs in an alleyway near his apartment on the 2600 block of Fairview Avenue. The victim also said the transaction was arranged by his girlfriend, Johnson’s sister, and was scheduled for noon. 

In addition, the victim said that he was not a drug dealer, he noted that he made the decision to do so to provide for his family. The drug transaction was located about 40 to 50 feet from the victim’s home. However, the victim testified that the individual who was buying the drugs was not Johnson, who the victim previously identified to police as the shooter.  

Police body camera footage conflicted with the victim’s testimony.

Garcia said the victim told him that he realized what he had done by blaming Johsnon and attempted to correct his prior statements by contacting the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office as well as the Baltimore Police Department.

When asked why he lied, the victim said he was mad at Johnson because he opened a successful catering business while using some of the victim’s recipes. The victim also added that it was not until he held a press conference that the lead detective responded to him and his letter, which resulted in the detective coming to his home angry about the letter. 

According to the victim, the detective did not want to hear what was in the letter. Instead, he said the detective only wanted to know why the victim wrote the letter.