Defense Argues Prosecution is ‘Overcharging’ Defendant in 2022 Homicide Case

Baltimore Courthouse

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Sahiou Kargbo shot and killed James Blue. We’re not here to say he did not. There it is.”

Defense attorney Todd Oppenheim bluntly told the jury that his client was responsible for the 43-year-old victim’s death on Jan. 25, 2022. Yet, days after the one-year anniversary of the shooting, Oppenheim said the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office was “using a tricky strategy to overcharge” Kargbo for what should have been pursued as manslaughter.

During his opening statement on Jan. 31, Oppenheim described manslaughter as a lesser type of killing with a lower level of intent, such as an accident or act of self-defense. While the prosecution will paint this as “a monstrous act,” he continued, Kargbo was actually outside his aunt’s house on the 1400 block of Walker Avenue to protect her. It was at this time when words were exchanged between the defendant and Blue, who was sitting in a black Honda.

The 19-year-old defendant, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, did not tell Baltimore Police the truth of what happened, Oppenheim added, as he was a “young, naive man caught in a big mess.”

However, that January day should have been a regular day, according to the prosecutor. Blue was waiting in his car for an appliance to be delivered and lawn care to be finished when Kargbo allegedly approached the driver’s side window and opened fire. The defendant continued to shoot the victim after the latter had opened the car door and fallen to the ground.

Blue was shot ten times, she noted.

Over the course of the trial, the jury will hear evidence involving search warrants and cell phone records that not only allowed police to recover the murder weapon from Kargbo’s home but also placed him near the scene of the crime at the time it occurred, the prosecutor said.

Testimony in Kargbo’s trial began Tuesday morning before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Schiffer and is expected to last through Feb. 9.

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