Debate Over Evidence in Closing Arguments for Attempted Murder Defendant

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On Feb. 7, the jury heard closing arguments before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill in the attempted murder case against defendant Michael Harris

Harris, 36, faces two counts of attempted first- and second-degree murder for allegedly opening fire on his sister and her boyfriend at the Tire King located on the 3200 block of East Madison Avenue. 

He also faces two counts of first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment for the incident on Nov. 9, 2022, as well as several other weapons charges including firearm possession with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, firearm use in a felony violent crime, having a handgun on his person and discharging a firearm.

According to the prosecution, the incident resulted in the hospitalization of both victims for multiple gunshot wounds. Harris’ sister sustained a gunshot wound to the face. It is believed that this incident was connected to an altercation that took place one day prior between the defendant’s sister and her boyfriend.

The assistant state’s attorney described the incident as “senseless, reckless” and demonstrated “a complete disregard” for his sister’s life. In their closing argument, the prosecution claimed that Harris and an unidentified co-conspirator “ran up” on his sister and her boyfriend, masks up and guns drawn as they were waiting outside of Tire King, and “something popped off.”

The prosecution and defense attorney debated testimony from the firearms expert. The prosecution said 11 shell casings from the scene all but matched a gun found in Harris’ vehicle. The gun was linked to Harris’ DNA and bore his fingerprints.

Harris’ defense attorney, Matthew Connell, claimed the testimony indicated the shell casings came from three different gun manufacturers, indicating multiple shooters. 

Connell cited a lack of intent as a reason why Harris shouldn’t be convicted of attempted murder for his sister.

“I don’t think you intended to kill your sister,” said a Baltimore Police Department detective in interview footage shown by the defense.

Connell claimed that Harris approached the scene with the intent to confront his sister’s boyfriend over an alleged domestic violence incident, but not to kill her.

The jury began deliberations Wednesday.

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