‘Classic Example of Kill or Be Killed,’ Defense Attorney Says During Opening Statements 

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Opening statements were heard in the courtroom of Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher Hill on Feb. 21 regarding a Dec. 23, 2022 homicide.

Darian McFarland, 34, is accused of shooting and killing 28-year-old Michael Morrison over a dispute in an apartment on the 1600 block of East Eager Street. 

He is currently facing first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, committing a crime under threat of violence, three counts of firearm possession with a felony conviction, two counts of having a handgun on his person, two counts of having a handgun in a vehicle, rifle/shotgun possession with felony conviction and possession of bulletproof armor. 

During opening statements, defense attorney James Gitomer told the jury McFarland was visiting with his ex-partner and his children before the holiday season when Morrison arrived. 

Morrison, now dating McFarland’s ex-partner was angry to find the two joking around and cursing in front of the children. Gitomer claimed the altercation became “a classic example of kill or be killed” when McFarland saw Morrison clutch his gun, which prompted McFarland to grab it and shoot him in self-defense. 

The prosecution countered by saying that McFarland “acted with pure malice” by taking Morrison’s gun and shooting him. Morrison was employed as a security guard and legally allowed to own a gun, while McFarland was not.

He said McFarland then allegedly ordered everyone present at the scene to get in his car, where he drove them to another location. Morrison was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics when they arrived. 

McFarland was not located by police until Jan. 18, 2023. A search warrant for his cellphone allegedly revealed text messages sent from him admitting to the homicide. 

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