Backlog Declines with 18 Jury Trials Since March 7

Baltimore City Circuit Court’s backlog of felony cases decreased by nearly 5 percent between March 1 and April 15. However, the backlog of cases remains slightly higher than the count at the end of last year.

According to the Maryland Judiciary, the backlog decreased by 78 felony cases over the past month for a total of 1,496 cases, following an increase of 110 cases between January and February, 1,574.

Between March 1 and April 15, Baltimore Witness reported 18 jury trials, 15 of which were homicide cases. Nine homicide trials resulted in guilty verdicts in addition to four not guilty verdicts and two mistrials.

One of the mistrials was for the homicide case of Darrius Lemar Jordan who was facing first-degree murder charges in connection to the shooting of Guy Thomas in February 2021. His initial trial began on March 23 but was ruled a mistrial by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Christopher L. Panos after a visibly upset family member of the victim charged at the defendant in front of the jury.

A retrial started two days later and ended on March 30 when a jury found Jordan guilty of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree assault.

The second mistrial was in the case of homicide defendant Donnell Johnson as the jury could not reach a decision in the defendant’s alleged involvement in the shooting of 27-year-old Kenneth Bivens in 2020.

Johnson is scheduled for a retrial on Dec. 1, according to the Maryland Judiciary website.

Editor’s note: The percentages calculated by Baltimore Witness were rounded to the nearest whole number. This article has been updated to include a 15th homicide trial that began on April 14 and reached a verdict on April 20.