Detective Testifies to Seeing Homicide Defendant Behind Wheel Before Ramming Police Car

Baltimore Courthouse

The prosecution called eight witnesses on Aug. 17 seven of them being members of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) and the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD) in an effort to piece together a night of crime that left two people fatally shot on Nov. 14, 2019.

Malik Brooks, 22, along with two co-defendants, Devon Bynum, 19, and Kiray Walker, 21, is accused of killing Courtney Richardson, 22, and Aryanna James, 22, on the 1900 block of McHenry Street during a spree of robberies by gunpoint and carjackings between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Brooks is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and two counts of use of a firearm during a felony violent crime.

On Wednesday, Brooks sat in the dim courtroom before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Videtta Brown, as the first witness was called by the prosecution. The witness described how he was mugged by three men in the early hours of Nov. 14, 2019. He was able to give a description of the clothes the muggers were wearing. An officer then testified to returning the stolen items to the victim: his car, wallet, iPad, coat and phone. 

The detective, who filed the complaint, said she analyzed tapes from nine different city surveillance cameras around the time and scene of the murder. In one video, she pointed out what she believed to be two individuals taking a shooting stance right before the victims were seen on the ground. 

She also noticed three cars parked near the scene of the murder. As the cameras swiveled back and forth, one of the cars drove away from the shooting. The detective said she concluded that to mean the car was fleeing the scene. 

According to the police report, it is believed that this car is the same gray Honda Civic reported stolen earlier in the night and later recovered when the suspects were apprehended.

Two Baltimore County police officers testified to locating the Honda Civic along with another stolen car, a Monte Carlo, around 6 a.m., near the intersection of Janice Avenue and Marbourne Avenue in West Baltimore. The officers set up surveillance and said two men got into the Honda Civic and a third in the Monte Carlo and they drove away.

More than one officer provided testimony on what happened next. The Monte Carlo sped through a red light while the Honda stopped and an unmarked police vehicle pulled up alongside it. 

The officer driving the vehicle testified as he set foot out the car he could see the defendant, Brooks, mouth, “Oh s***t,” once he recognized he was law enforcement.

He said the defendant then made a sharp left, hitting the marked police car in front of him as he made a U-Turn in the opposite direction. The car hit a medium and the two suspects were apprehended after a foot chase. 

Bodycam footage from one of the arresting officers was shown of the defendant’s arrest, as well as his co-defendant Walker, who was also in the Honda Civic. Brooks’ attorney, Jerome Bivens, objected to the showing of Walker’s arrest, which showed the recovery of a weapon. 

A 9mm Taurus handgun, was found on Walker and was confirmed to be the gun used in the fatal shooting of James and Richardson.

The prosecution presented the gun, magazine clip and bullets recovered from Walker to the jury. He then called the officer in charge of logging and packaging the evidence.

During cross-examination Bivens tried to uncover how the three pieces were initially retrieved and who placed them in their respective envelopes. The officer testified that he received the bullets and magazine already in envelopes and he personally put the gun in its proper box, and then he simply filled out the paperwork. 

Testimony for Brooks’ case continued Thursday morning with the review of interview footage from the police headquarters the day the three suspects were taken into custody.

On Tuesday, Brook’s co-defendant Walker was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit carjacking, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with this incident. 

Bynum’s trial is set to begin after Brooks’.

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