When defendant Anton Harris made eye contact with an MTA officer on May 4, 2022, “he knew he had been made,” a prosecutor told the jury on the final day of his trial.
Harris, 35, was accused of fatally shooting 34-year-old Keith Johnson on a rainy May afternoon on the 500 block of North Pulaski Street.
On Jan. 23, the jury announced their verdict, finding the defendant guilty of second-degree murder and illegal possession of a regulated firearm. His sentencing is currently scheduled for Feb. 8.
During closing arguments on Jan. 20, the prosecutor told the jury that Harris shot Johnson twice, once in the back and another, which caused a graze wound on the victim’s nose. The defendant then walked away from the scene but began running when he saw an MTA officer. As the officer demanded Harris to stop and put his hands in the air, the defendant hid behind a black Nissan Xterra near W. Franklin Street and Lauretta Avenue, where he put the alleged murder weapon on the vehicle’s running board.
“He knew he couldn’t be caught with the murder weapon—the same murder weapon that killed Keith Johnson,” the prosecutor said. “Not only did the defendant know he’d been made, but he also had to get rid of his hoodie.”
Moments later, Harris ran into a wooded area and was arrested. A black hoodie turned inside out was also found nearby.
“We’ve all taken off a hoodie quickly,” the prosecutor added. “If you take it off quickly, it’s inside out.”
Earlier in the trial, a witness testified that she looked outside her window and saw the defendant shoot the victim while wearing the same hoodie that was recovered.
Defense attorney Amanda Savage persistently questioned the witness’ testimony, telling the jury that the witness didn’t say she saw the shooting during her initial interview with Baltimore Police. Savage replayed the interview for the jury, during which the witness is heard saying she heard gunshots and looked out her window but didn’t see the shooting.
The investigation into the shooting was unfinished, she said, adding that the witness was never shown a photo array to determine if Harris was the actual shooter.
“This is one of those cases where the physical evidence doesn’t line up with the story being told,” Savage continued.
According to testimony, neither Harris’ DNA nor fingerprints were found on the gun. Furthermore, the hoodie in question was not tested as police officers handled the evidence without gloves, causing contamination.Follow this case