Defense Argues Shooting Victim Started A 2022 Fracus Outside Sinclair Gates Apartments

Baltimore Courthouse

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“Fairness and justice mean not convicting a man of crimes he did not commit.”

At the start of his client’s trial on March 25, defense attorney Brandon Taylor said defendant Desmond Powell was hanging out with friends outside Sinclair Gates Apartments where the 25-year-old man was accosted by the reputed victim. What began as an argument quickly turned physical when Powell allegedly saw the victim reach for a gun.

Following a two-day jury selection process last week, Powell’s trial kicked off Monday morning before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John A. Howard. Powell is currently charged with attempted first and second-degree murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, having a handgun on his person, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and firearm use in a felony or violent crime for the incident on July 17, 2022.

Counsel was able to agree that Powell and the victim’s interaction resulted in a fistfight; however, what happened before and after the fight began was left up for debate.

Taylor argued that the victim aggressively approached Powell and his friends and “got into Mr. Powell’s face,” which the defense attorney said was captured on video surveillance. Despite the defendant’s attempts to get away, the victim persisted and began reaching for his gun. Powell then jumped on the victim, knocking him to the ground to prevent him from grabbing his gun.

A crowd swarmed around the two men as they tussled on the ground but dispersed when the gun fired, Taylor said.

During her opening statement, the prosecutor said the victim left his apartment to retrieve something from his moped for his child and saw someone he knew having an argument with Powell in the parking lot. Moments later, she continued, the defendant “squares up,” ready to fight the victim, who was shot in his stomach during their fight.

“It was a fistfight,” she said. “It started that way and could’ve ended that way.”

The prosecutor began her case by playing 911 calls for the jury prior to the start of testimony.

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