Detective Obstructed Evidence, Defense Counsel Says

Defense counsel for a 26-year-old Baltimore woman charged with murder motioned for dismissal on Aug. 3 in response to the prosecutor’s failure to turn over evidence.

Eshyna Lachelle Young is charged with first-degree murder, first and second-degree arson and first-degree malicious burning in connection to an incident on March 6, 2019, when she allegedly murdered her mother. 

Her attorneys are Julie Shapiro and Shomari Taylor. During the hearing, Shapiro said Baltimore City Fire and Police Department detectives were present at the crime scene as well as a private insurance investigator from Allstate.

Each detective’s written observations of the crime scene were admitted as evidence. According to Shapiro, the prosecutor failed to provide and send these pieces of evidence to the defense.

Shapiro said she only received one rude email and was forced to go look for the evidence elsewhere. She said she realized that the observed written notes and observations that were taken from the Baltimore Fire Department detective’s body camera, which was nowhere to be found. Shapiro said they were destroyed and that the detective had obstructed evidence. 

The defense later said she obtained evidence on Feb. 14, 2020, from the private insurance investigator who had been to the crime scene five days after the detectives. The conclusion from the private investigator was that careless smoking couldn’t be excluded. 

Both prosecutors admitted into evidence that the relevant report pertaining to this case had been disclosed. In addition, the prosecution said the detectives wrote reports that the prosecution provided to the defense.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John S. Nugent. denied the motion for dismissal. 

According to court documents, on March 6, 2019, Baltimore City Fire and Police departments responded to the unit block of S. Morley Street for a fire. Firefighters found Young’s mother, 50-year-old Tinesstta Young, inside a residential dwelling. She was unresponsive and died at the scene. 

The homicide detective from the Baltimore Police Department reported that the fire started in the 2nd floor rear bedroom. It is still under question whether the fire started due to Tinesstta’s smoking and drinking habits or if the fire was intentional. 

Young spent 13 months in jail and was released in June 2020. Several of the defendant’s family members and friends were at the hearing.  

The trial is set to begin Aug. 4.