Defense Disputes Gun Evidence Linking Suspect to Hoffman Street Murder

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Defense counsel for homicide defendant Tyrone Fenner disputed the prosecution’s DNA evidence allegedly linking his client to last year’s murder of Donte Miller, saying “people pass around guns like the flu” in Baltimore City.

Fenner is currently facing first-degree murder, conspiracy to first-degree murder and two weapons charges for the fatal shooting on Nov. 15, 2022. His trial began on Dec. 13 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Erik S. Atas.

“When you put this [evidence] together at the end, what you’re going to find is a mystery,” attorney Roland Harris said during his opening statement.

According to the prosecution, Fenner was driving a silver 2013 Acura MDX with his girlfriend in the passenger’s seat around 1 p.m. on the day of the shooting and went to pick up friend and eventual co-defendant, Clipper Jordan. Fenner and Jordan then dropped off the former’s girlfriend before driving to the 2600 block of East Hoffman Street.

During their investigation, Baltimore Police Department (BPD) detectives recovered video surveillance footage tracking Fenner’s Acura, which was seen circling East Hoffman Street and pulling up to the corner of East Hoffman Street and Lakewood Avenue shortly before 2:15 p.m.

Video evidence will show someone getting out of the vehicle and walking out of frame followed by nine gunshots, the prosecutor said. BPD officers later found Miller who was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

On Nov. 22, 2022, detectives observed the vehicle, conducted a traffic stop and arrested Fenner after finding a Polymer80 handgun under the driver’s sear. At trial, the prosecutor said the shell casings recovered from the crime scene were consistent with Fenner’s firearm.

“This is a case where you’re going to have to listen to all of the testimony,” the prosecution concluded. There was neither video of the actual shooting nor witnesses; however, Fenner’s DNA was found on the handgun.

Given the week-long gap between the shooting and his client’s arrest, Harris implied it was possible someone else used the recovered handgun, adding that Fenner would often loan his vehicle to others. The defense attorney emphasized the prosecution’s limited evidence and said what jurors will see boils down to “a bunch of videos of a car driving around the city.”

Testimony began with a BPD crime lab technician, with the trial expected to continue on Dec. 14.

Jordan, Fenner’s co-defendant, will be tried separately for two counts of first-degree murder and two weapons charges in connection to Miller’s murder. His trial is currently scheduled for Jan. 2, 2024, according to the Maryland Judiciary website.

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