Defendant Accused of Gas Station Shooting Returned Fire After Being Shot in the Back, Defense Counsel Argues

Baltimore Courthouse

Defense counsel for attempted homicide defendant Joseph Moulden adamantly argued on April 4 that his client only returned gunfire in the direction of the alleged shooter after the former was shot in his back.

A jury trial for the 48-year-old defendant began Tuesday afternoon before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Yolanda Tanner as he faces multiple counts of attempted first and second-degree murder, assault, and weapons charges.

The shooting occurred at a gas station on the 5100 block of Reisterstown Road on April 30, 2022.

According to the prosecution’s opening statement, Moulden pulled into a gas station parking lot in a Jeep Cherokee around 3:00 a.m. and approached a kiosk where he began talking to a woman. Moments later, the defendant allegedly “sucker punched” the woman before pulling out a gun and pistol-whipping her.

The woman, who was also with another man at the time, began running away, the prosecutor said, when another man interfered and shot Moulden.

The defendant is accused of returning fire, injuring both men.

Defense attorney Lawrence Rosenberg countered that the events that early morning actually unfolded differently than the prosecution described. Instead, he said, the woman began the confrontation with Moulden after yelling at him for driving fast into the parking lot and almost hitting her brother. It was at this time that she also threatened to “flip” Moulden’s car, which Rosenberg said was a slang term for “shoot.”

Although the defendant had a gun, he “never points [his] gun” at anyone, the defense attorney continued. Moulden did not fire the gun until the other man shot him in the back.

Earlier in Tuesday’s proceeding, the prosecutor explained that Baltimore Police questioned Moulden on May 9, 2022, at which time the defendant allegedly spouted several lies. At first, the defendant told police he was doing drugs with a friend at his home when he was shot; however, police revealed that to be false after a license plate reader placed the Jeep in the area at the time of the incident.

“Now, the choices to lie begin to unravel,” the prosecutor said, as police “push and push” the defendant during questioning.

Moulden then told police he had left work, gone to the gas station, and fired his gun because he heard gunshots.

Ten shell casings were found at the scene, eight of which came from the defendant’s gun.

“He lied because he knew he made poor choices,” added the prosecutor, who noted that jurors would see video surveillance footage of the incident during the trial as well as police body camera footage, witness testimony, and Moulden’s interview with police.

Rosenberg reminded jurors that Moulden told police he had a gun—even though he was prohibited due to a prior conviction—and that he was drunk and on pills when the shooting happened. The prosecution knows the other man was the shooter, he concluded but simply didn’t care to investigate who shot the defendant.

The trial continued with testimony, which is expected to continue on April 5.

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