Baltimore Man Rejects Two Life Pleas for First-Degree Murder

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A homicide defendant rejected a plea of two concurrent life sentences on Sept. 12 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Phinn

Joel Ugah is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first and second-degree attempted murder, two counts of use of a firearm during a felony violent crime, first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, having a handgun in a vehicle, and having a handgun on his person in connection to an incident on April 15. 

Ugah, 36, and his defense attorney Issac Klein, rejected a plea of life for first-degree murder; life for attempted first-degree murder; and 20 years for the use of a firearm during a felony violent crime., the charges are set to run concurrently. 

According to a news release, on April 15, officers were called to the 800 block of Gretna Court around 6:19 a.m., where a 31-year-old man had sustained a non-fatal gunshot wound. Another victim, 30-year-old Brittany Keyser, died from her injuries at the scene. 

Ugah’s trial has been scheduled for March 14, 2023, and is expected to last five days. 

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