Defense Attorneys Tell Jury to Prepare for Multiple Versions of the Truth in Retrial of Double Homicide Co-Defendants

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Jurors should expect to hear multiple versions of the truth as witnesses take the stand in the retrial of homicide co-defendants Charles Baldwin and Mizell Taylor.

This was the belief of defense attorneys Brandon Mead and Lawrence Rosenberg, representing Baldwin and Taylor, respectively, during their opening statements on June 1 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Charles Dorsey.

The co-defendants are each facing two counts of first-degree murder in addition to assault, reckless endangerment, armed robbery, and other weapons charges for the murders of Diamond Davis and Pedro Chesley. A third woman was also injured in the shooting that occurred on Nov. 21, 2020.

Baldwin and Taylor’s last trial ended with a mistrial in October 2022.

According to the prosecution, the co-defendants and victims were on the 700 block of Linnard Street for “a street fight” when Baldwin, 23, and Taylor, 22, pulled out handguns and announced a robbery. Moments later, the duo opened fire, killing Davis, 21, and Chesley, 20, and injuring another then-20-year-old woman.

Mead encouraged the jury to listen to the facts of the case and make their own determinations. The prosecution must be able to prove Baldwin’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, he said, telling jurors to think of it as a ladder: The lowest rung is when someone is arrested, and the top rung is beyond a reasonable doubt.

“When you watch these liars take the stand, there will be one answer, and that’s not guilty,” Mead said, referring to the witnesses’ impending testimony.

Rosenberg leaned further into Mead’s argument, saying that the surviving witness had said different things at different times and did not speak with anyone about that night until eight months after it happened.

“I assume she will probably tell you that she was scared,” he said. Furthermore, Rosenberg explained the victim previously told Baltimore Police that she didn’t know the two victims, yet “she set up these people to meet the victims.”

This victim also told police that she saw Taylor shoot Davis in the forehead; however, the autopsy report shows no injuries to that area of Davis’ body.

Testimony began Thursday afternoon and is expected to continue on June 2.

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