Defendant Argues Self-Defense in West Mulberry Street Homicide 

Baltimore Courthouse

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On Nov. 15, defense attorney Michael Cooper passionately argued in Baltimore City Circuit Court that his client had a right to defend himself and his child.

Dominic Hicks, 38, is charged with second-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction and having a handgun on his person in connection to the death of Lattimore Thompson

The evidence at trial included clear video footage of the shooting, leading to an argument whether the killing was in self-defense or not.

Video footage from Dec. 29, 2022, allegedly showed Thompson punch Hicks, who then fired two shots, one of which hit and killed 31-year-old Thompson.

Cooper emphasized in his closing argument that this was a subjective case, not a black and white one. He told the court that Hicks wasn’t the aggressor and asked the jury to put themselves in Hicks’ shoes. Hicks’ five-year-old child was 30 feet away from him when he was punched by Thompson. Cooper reminded the jury that everyone has a right to defend themselves and their family.

Additionally, Cooper explained that Hicks had poor mobility because of a past shooting in which he was hit nine times. Cooper argued that Hicks wouldn’t have been able to defend himself well and that his previous near-death experience from a shooting made him especially wary and more likely to fear for his life in an attack. 

Over repeated objections sustained by presiding Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer., Cooper attempted to make the argument that fights on Baltimore streets are especially dangerous and noted that the victim had a knife on him.

Meanwhile, the prosecution claimed that shooting Thompson was an unreasonable response and that his death was “in no way justified.”

The prosecution argued that Hicks’ actions did not constitute self-defense. He didn’t take a step back, and instead “came at the victim.” In addition, the prosecution claimed that the force Hicks used was unreasonable, as Thompson didn’t have any weapon in sight and Hicks couldn’t have known he was armed.

The prosecution also emphasized that Hicks was much bigger than the victim and therefore should have been able to defend himself physically in a fistfight thus nullifying the self-defense claim. 

Charging documents from the District Court of Maryland state that the shooting occurred on the 500 block of West Mulberry Street at an Exxon gas station. 

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