Defense counsel for a 32-year-old man charged with shooting a Baltimore Police Department officer argued that his client be released on home detention after the defendant showed promise during a period of temporary release last fall.
Christopher Earl is charged with first and second-degree attempted murder as well as several assault and firearms charges in connection to a non-fatal shooting of a police officer in June 2020.
During a bail review hearing on Jan. 11, defense attorney John Cox informed the court that Earl was allegedly drunk and pulled into a parking lot near a block party where two individuals began heckling him. Police on the scene saw Earl approach the hecklers with what appeared to be a gun and intervened when a struggle ensued and one of the officers was shot in the torso.
Cox described the shooting as “an accidental discharge” and that his client had little recollection of the incident. He said Earl began crying, saying, “Don’t kill me, don’t kill me,” after the shooting occurred, realizing what he had done.
The prosecution reiterated that the defendant was highly intoxicated at the time and was in “some sort of drunken accident” as the front of his vehicle had damage.
Cox noted that Earl was denied bail last year but later granted a temporary release in October 2021 to attend a family member’s funeral. Earl was ordered to return to Central Booking afterward, but when he did so, Central Booking told him he was released and couldn’t return, Cox said.
Earl informed Cox and the prosecution of the issue, the defense attorney explained, which was only resolved when Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Philip S. Jackson issued a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
Despite Earl abiding by the rules of the temporary release, the defendant was denied bail based on the allegations.
Earl’s case will next be heard in reception court on March 10, which was originally scheduled last September to be his trial date.