On Sept. 19, 21-year-old Donyell Morris was sentenced to life, suspending all but 40 years, for a 2019 double homicide after accepting a plea offered by Baltimore City prosecutors.
Morris was charged, along with his co-defendant 20-year-old Charles Anderson, with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, two counts of using a firearm to commit a felony violent crime, conspiracy to use a firearm during a felony violent crime, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, three counts of robbery, two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, having a handgun on his person and conspiracy to wearing/carrying handgun.
At the start of the day, the prosecution played CCTV footage of the incident, in which Morris and Anderson were seen approaching the two victims to rob them on the 1200 block of Bloomingdale Road on July 2 at 2:10 am.
Both victims, 28-year-old Julien Rosaly and 26-year-old Brittany Foster, were shot by Anderson after he and Morris attempted to rob them.
The families of both victims were present for the verdict and made emotional victim impact statements before the Baltimore City Circuit Court.
Rosaly’s mother described him as a loving father and son who was passionate about basketball. “These defendants had no compassion when the decision was made to murder my son,” she said. “Twenty-eight years with Julien was not enough time.”
“I hope when you do this time, that you think about it,” Rosaly’s father directed to Morris during his statement. “You not only hurt our family; you hurt your family.”
Through tears, Foster’s father gave a brief but emotional testimony about his heartbreak over the death of his only child and said he still has anger over her murder.
“I want to heal and move forward,” said Foster’s mother, who said her daughter loved fashion and was planning to go to law school. Her family described her as someone who saw the good in everyone.
Morris’s mother also took the stand to express her condolences to the victim’s loved ones. “My heart goes out to your family,” she said. “I hope this is a lesson. The decisions that you make, even if it’s not you that pulled the trigger, you’re at fault for.”
After listening to the victim impact statements, Judge Jeannie Hong, who adjudicated the hearing, closed the day, saying, “This is a sad, sad case.”
Morris was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the two counts of felony murder to run concurrently, as ordered by Judge Hong. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised probation upon his release.
Anderson, who was charged separately, filed a formal plea of not criminally responsible and is currently awaiting a mental health evaluation. He is expected to resume his case in November.