Homicide Defendant Attempts to Dismiss Defense Attorney on First Day of Trial 

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A Baltimore man accused of murder is still set to face trial after trying and failing to dismiss his defense attorney on July 9. 

Jared Ford is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, three counts of firearm use in a felony violent crime and a variety of other firearm charges in connection to an incident resulting in the death of Mason Kelly and injuring two other people on Feb. 26, 2023, on the 5500 block of Bowleys Lane. 

Ford is also charged with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, firearm use in a felony violent crime and a variety of other firearm charges and unlawful removal of a moving vehicle for an incident that occurred on March 2, 2023, at the intersection of North Rose Street and East Hoffman Street. The two cases are being tried together. 

Before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jeannie J. Hong, Ford, 23, requested to discharge his defense attorney, Roya Hanna, and sought a postponement in order to retain another attorney. 

“Because this is so complicated, it would take a really, really long time for a new attorney to step in,” Judge Hong cautioned Ford as he made his request. Hanna first entered her appearance in court for the case on June 6, 2023.

Ford’s initial trial date was set for March 15, and Ford explained that he had wanted to begin his trial as scheduled. However, Hanna informed the court that she had requested and was granted a postponement so that an expert could examine cell phone and firearm reports she received from the prosecution. 

When questioned by Judge Hong as to why he was requesting to dismiss his attorney, Ford said he “just [didn’t] feel comfortable” with his current defense counsel. 

Ford also said he was displeased with the two plea offers that the prosecution had previously made. He said he didn’t want to serve any time for his charges.

According to the prosecution, the first offer was for life in prison, suspending all but 45 years, the first five years without the possibility of parole, five years of supervised probation and a requirement to register as a gun offender upon release if Ford pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

The prosecution’s second offer was for life in prison, suspending all but 30 years.

Judge Hong did not approve Ford’s request to dismiss Hanna, not finding it meritorious, but moved the case to reception court in front of Judge Melissa K. Copeland for a possible postponement. However, Judge Copeland denied Ford’s request for a postponement and sent him back to trial. 

Before the trial began, the prosecution once more read out their plea offers. As Ford rejected the offers, jury selection was set to begin, but not enough jurors were available to move forward.

Ford and Hanna are scheduled to appear before Judge Hong on July 10 to begin jury selection.

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