Defense Counsel Argues for Attempted Homicide Defendant’s Release

Retaliation and COVID-19 were behind a defense attorney’s argument to have her client, an attempted murder defendant, released on home detention during a bail review hearing on Jan. 14.

Defense attorney Durriyyah Hollimon began her argument on behalf of Anthony Venable by explaining the reason behind her client’s recent transfer from Central Booking in Baltimore City to Howard County.

Venable, 39, currently has four pending cases involving attempted murder, firearm, and assault charges. The attempted murder charges stem from an incident on May 25, 2021, when Venable allegedly opened fire on a victim and the victim’s brother in an alleyway.

“Since he has been incarcerated in July 2021, he has now been stabbed twice at Central Booking [in Baltimore City],” said Hollimon, who noted that the alleged victim in the attempted murder case was also housed at Central Booking. 

After the first stabbing, Venable was taken to a hospital for treatment and then returned to Central Booking; however, no ledger to document the incident was created, Hollimon said. The defendant was stabbed a second time just before Thanksgiving, treated, and then returned to Central Booking, once again, where he continued to receive death threats.

Unbeknownst to counsel, the defense attorney said she recently learned that Venable was transferred to Central Booking in Howard County. She continued to argue for her client’s release, stating that more than half of the Howard County inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

The prosecuting attorney acknowledged that the defendant’s transfer was “absolutely the right call” as it was clear Venable was being targeted. However, he said, the defendant continues to either be around guns or people with guns, making him a threat to public safety.

Venable has two prior firearm convictions from 2014 and 2017.

“These are consequences of actions that he himself has taken,” the prosecutor said.

Based on the allegations, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Philip S. Jackson concluded that Venable remain held without bail.