Counsel Will Attempt to Resolve 15-Year-Old’s Murder Case Before Trial, Prosecutor Says

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Counsel is attempting to resolve the case of 15-year-old homicide defendant Costello Simms short of trial for the murder of 21-year-old Ronald Boone, according to a Baltimore City prosecutor.

Simms was initially scheduled for trial on Sept. 8 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer; however, the case did not proceed as his defense attorney, Tara LeCompte, was ill. When the case was transferred to Judge Melissa M. Phinn’s reception court, the prosecutor said plea negotiations are underway, but “may take a little more time.”

Judge Phinn agreed to reschedule the case for Oct. 24 in reception court when counsel is expected to present a resolution or schedule a new trial date.

Simms was accused of Boone’s murder after a witness identified the defendant in a photo array in connection to the fatal shooting on Feb. 5, 2022, on the 3300 block of Kentucky Avenue. According to court documents, Baltimore Police Department (BPD) officers reviewed video surveillance footage from the area that showed the driver of a white Toyota Yaris fire at least one gunshot from the window while driving past the victim who was walking down the street.

An unknown suspect then got out of a parked silver Nissan Altima and fired more gunshots.

Simms was later identified as the driver of the Toyota Yaris. Charging documents do not identify the second suspect.

Charges against Simms include two counts of first-degree murder and single counts of firearm use in a felony or violent crime, having a handgun on his person and in a vehicle and possession a firearm as a minor.

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