Courthouse Water Main Break Delays Cases, Forces Evacuation

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A water main break early on June 13 stalled proceedings in the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse. The building was left without water, forcing an evacuation. All scheduled cases had to be moved or postponed. 

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John A. Howard moved to the Elijah E. Cummings Courthouse across the street. Judge Howard is presiding over the fourth day of Ronald Eaton Cornish’s murder trial. 

The sentencing of a Baltimore man convicted of murder, Preston Feaster, 34, before Judge Howard was postponed partially due to the water main break.

Feaster’s defense attorney, Brandon Mead, was initially not allowed entry into the closed courthouse because of the disruption. Counsel are also still awaiting the pre-sentencing investigation, so even without the water main break, they were planning to postpone Thursday’s hearing.

A motions hearing for attempted murder defendant Davon Coleman, 25, was postponed after counsel received the message of the water main break.

Judge Robert K. Taylor, Jr. said that the case was going to be delayed not only because of the water main break

The prosecution confirmed with Baltimore Witness the case “was going to be postponed either way because of the delay in disclosing evidence.” 

Defense attorney Michael Cooper said that he still needed time to review video footage of the victim’s statement.

As of Thursday afternoon, the building was partially opened. However, D.C. Witness was unable to confirm with courthouse contacts when the building would be back to full operation.

The hearing is set to begin on June 14 at 9 a.m.

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