Defense Requests Postponement in Bernard Drive Murder Trial to Negotiate Plea Offer with Prosecution

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A 29-year-old attempted murder defendant and his stand-in defense attorney appeared before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Phinn on March 21 to request a postponment to his trial.

Nicolas Merriwether, who was standing in for defense attorney Martin Cohen, informed Judge Phinn that Cohen intended to further negotiate a plea on behalf of defendant Laquawn Foster.

On Tuesday, prosecutors offered the 29-year-old defendant a plea of life, suspending all but 25 years with five years of supervised probation for attempted first-degree murder and a consecutive 10-year sentence, the first five years without the possibility of parole for using a firearm in a felony violent crime. The defendant would have also been required to stay away from the victim.

Foster, 29, rejected this offer. 

Foster elected to retain his Hick’s right, which is the defendant’s right to have a trial within 180 days of his or his attorney’s initial appearance. Judge Phinn found good cause to go beyond this date of April 11 due to counsel’s availability. 

Judge Phinn postponed the defendant’s trial to begin on July 17 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Martin H. Schreiber.

Foster is charged with one count each of first and second-degree attempted murder, one count each of first and second-degree assault, firearm use in felony violent crime, reckless endangerment, having a handgun on his person, and discharging firearms, according to the Maryland Judiciary website. 

As previously reported by CBS News, on Aug 4, 2022, officers responded to the 1211 block of Bernard Drive for a shooting, where they found a man shot multiple times. 

Foster was subsequently arrested and charged in connection to the incident.

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