Hearing Continued for Defendant Charged With West Baltimore Murder to Allow Time to Find New Counsel 

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On July 10, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge continued a hearing for a defendant charged with murder to provide him 60 days to find a new defense attorney. 

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Phinn scheduled defendant Stephawn Tate’s reception court hearing to continue on Sep.12. Tate dismissed his public defender, Benjamin Charlton, on May 1 to hire a private attorney. A new defense council has yet to enter its appearance. Attorney Isabel Lipman stood in during the hearing.

The 22-year-old defendant’s case was postponed multiple times, initially due to issues with covid-19. The court was last scheduled to hear the case in Aug. 2022 but was never called due to another scheduled case. 

Tate was charged for an incident that occurred on Nov. 13, 2020, on the 1600 block of W. North Avenue. According to court documents, police arrived on the scene after they heard gunshots. They found the victim, Rodney Grinage, face down, suffering multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead soon after being transported to a hospital. 

The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) disseminated images from video surveillance of the murder throughout the department to identify the perpetrator. Another officer immediately identified the man as Tate; she claimed to have seen Tate on the night of the murder wearing the same outfit observed in the video. 

Detectives believe Tate’s motive was an attempted robbery. 

As stated on the Maryland Judiciary website, Tate is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use with a felony conviction, firearm possession with a felony conviction, possession of a firearm as a minor, and having a handgun on the person.

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