Bench Trial Date Set for Shooting Suspect After Mistrial

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A 36-year-old Baltimore shooting defendant appeared before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa K. Copeland on July 1, waiving his right to a jury trial against the advice of his attorney.

Jeffery Nelson-Johnson, 36, appeared before Judge Levi S. Zaslow on June 25, for a jury trial on charges of firearm possession with a felony conviction, firearm possession in a controlled dangerous substance offense, having handgun on his person, having a loaded handgun on his person, firing and discharging a gun and illegal possession of ammunition in relation to an incident that occured on Nov. 15, 2023, on the 2200 block of Fulton Avenue. 

On June 28, the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision except for firearm possession in a controlled dangerous substance offense, which was dismissed. Judge Zaslow declared a mistrial. 

During Monday’s reception court hearing, defense attorney Brandon Thornton advised Nelson-Johnson not to waive his right to a jury trial, but Nelson-Johnson insisted on being tried by a judge. Thornton filed a motion for a new bail review for his client June 28.

According to court documents, Baltimore Police Department officers  responded to a ShotSpotter alert in the Penn-North neighborhood at Westside Elementary School. Baltimore Police Department detectives collected Nelson-Johnson’s clothing as evidence, determining a hole that was consistent with the injury to his left buttock. Investigators believe Nelson-Johnson’s injury was self-inflicted.

Nelson-Johnson is set to appear before Judge Melissa M. Phinn for a trial by judge on Aug. 23. 

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