Defense Counsel Refers to ‘39 Babies’ Gang as ‘Imaginary Group’ in Trial Opening Statements

Baltimore Courthouse

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“’39 Babies’ or this group, it’s all imagination,” stated a defense attorney on June 15, regarding defendant Donye Thompson and his codefendant facing charges related to the ’39 Babies gang before Baltimore City Court Judge Cynthia H. Jones

Thompson, 27, is represented by defense attorney James Sweeting III

Thompson’s codefendant Gregory Beadles is represented by defense attorney Staci Pipkin

During the prosecutor’s opening statement, he said the “39 Babies,” also known as “Green Team,” was run by Thompson, who was accompanied by 11 codefendants. Thompson was of “top status,” the prosecutor said, while Beadles was referred to as having “higher” status.

The prosecutor described various incidents he said Thompson or Beadles, 26, were involved, including an incident on Dec. 13, 2019, marking the first time a victim was ambushed by the gang. On Jan. 4, 2020, Thompson allegedly stole a Nissan Altima. Two days later, the same Nissan Altima was allegedly involved in an attempted murder.

On one account, Thompson allegedly stood on top of a victim and shot him in the head 

Sweeting refuted the prosecutor’s argument, saying the case is filled with disjointed, disassociated incidents that were not coordinated gang activity.

“’39 Babies’ or this group, it’s all imagination,” he said. “There is no leader. There is no beef,” said Sweeting.

Sweeting expressed how the defendants were doing actions on their own accord and that the only connection between the crimes was the geographical area. 

In support of Sweeting’s argument, Pipkin stated there was no drop of DNA nor fingerprint evidence placing Beadles at the scene, and no non-fatal victims were able to identify him. 

As stated on the Maryland Judiciary website, Beadles has 61 charges ranging from first- and second-degree murder, attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, conspiracy to first-degree murder, participation in a criminal gang, 

in addition to multiple other gand related charges and weapons charges.

Thompson has 50 charges ranging from first and second-degree murder, participation in a criminal gang, conspiracy to participate in a criminal gang, gang association, organizing, supervising, and financing a gang, armed carjacking, carjacking, conspiracy to commit carjacking, armed robbery, robbery, first and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment use of a firearm in a felony violent crime, possession of a regulated firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and several other firearm-related crimes.

According to court documents, jurors found that as early as December 2019, Beadles and his codefendants Thompson, Karon JacksonPierce BriggsDamone CornishRaequan FieldsStephen HarringtonDatwain Jackson, J’Quan Lajuan PowellRomell WilsonJalen Wise, and others conspired with each other and participated in a criminal organization. 

The two defendants are expected to continue with trial on June 16.

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