Bullet Holes Found Outside Victim’s Home ‘Not Fresh’ or Consistent with Defendant’s Alleged Firearm, Prosecutor Says

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A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge released a 37-year-old Baltimore man on home detention on May 2 after a prosecutor revealed that the bullet holes found on the outside of the victim’s house “were not fresh” nor consistent with the type of assault rifle the defendant allegedly used.

Parkview/Woodbrook neighborhood resident Mandela Nelson appeared for a bail review on Tuesday for charges of attempted murder, assault, firearm use in a felony violent crime, and property destruction in connection to an incident on March 3. Defense attorney Warren Brown represented Nelson during the proceeding, which was presided over by Judge Christopher L. Panos.

Based on the Baltimore Police report, the judge explained the victim was arguing with the defendant over the phone regarding concerns about their relationship and heard the defendant driving. Moments later, Nelson arrived at her home on the 800 block of Whitelock Street and yelled for her to come outside. The victim reported that she saw Nelson in a black vehicle and holding a large assault rifle.

Nelson is accused of firing six rounds at the woman and her home before driving away. Judge Panos said the victim saw six rounds on the ground as well as bullet holes in the exterior of her home.

A prosecutor, who stood in for the assistant state’s attorney assigned to the case and was late to the proceeding, provided additional details, saying that when crime technicians searched the scene, the bullet holes that they found outside the victim’s home appeared to be older, painted over, and did not match the AR-15-type firearm that the defendant allegedly used.

When the prosecutor said that Nelson was reportedly found in Georgia after the incident, Brown clarified that his client was on vacation prior to starting a new job with CSX Transportation. Nelson was arrested at the airport upon returning to Baltimore.

“The interesting thing about this case is that this allegedly happened at 11:00 p.m. on March 2, but the police [didn’t] take the report until 4:00 p.m. the next day,” Brown said.

Although six shots were allegedly fired, he continued, there were no reports of shots fired in that area around that time. The defense attorney noted that Nelson was at home at the time of the shooting and that there was currently no investigation into his cell phone records deeming otherwise.

The defendant has no record of criminal history, Brown concluded.

“There seems to be a pattern and a habit of gentlemen and women being held without bond merely because of the sole reason of the nature and circumstances and seriousness of the offenses charged,” Judge Panos said.

The judge agreed to release Nelson on home detention with 24/7 GPS monitoring and only allowed the defendant to leave his residence for medical issues and meetings with counsel.

Nelson does not currently have another court date scheduled, according to the Maryland Judiciary website.

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