Homicide, Non-Fatal Shootings Fill Postponement Court Docket

Multiple homicide and non-fatal shooting cases filled the postponement court docket on Tuesday in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

On June 8, Judge Melissa M. Phinn was presented with four homicide cases and three non-fatal shooting cases, which consisted of plea agreements and rejections and rescheduled postponement court dates.

The first homicide case was for Baltimore resident Shakira Shaw, 24. The prosecution said they do not currently have an offer but are waiting for approval. Shaw is represented by defense attorney Felicia Ciesla.

Judge Phinn rescheduled the case in postponement court for July 23.

Shaw, who was arrested in connection with the murder of her 1-year-old son in December 2019, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree child abuse.

The Baltimore Sun reported that a medical examiner originally ruled the death of her son, Kaleb, to be from natural causes, specifically, a heart arrhythmia. However, eight months later, Shaw called police and told them she suffocated her son at their home in Windsor Mill on the 400 block of Aisquith Street. Shaw said the voices of two babies she previously lost told her to kill her son.

Baltimore resident Ronald Haskins, 23, was the next to be brought before Judge Phinn in connection to a homicide in January 2020. The prosecution said there was no offer at this time and that the case was recently reassigned to the prosecutor. Assistant public defenders Karyn Meriwether and Dyan Owens represent Haskins.

Judge Phinn rescheduled the case for postponement court on July 6.

The Baltimore Sun reported Haskins allegedly shot and killed 38-year-old Richard Pearson on the 1400 block of Broening Highway. Haskins is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a violent crime, having a handgun on his person, and having a firearm possession with a felony conviction.

Another homicide case called before Judge Phinn was for Deshon Thomas, 47, who is another resident of Baltimore. The prosecution said the case was recently reassigned to them and no offer was available at this time.

The case is scheduled to go back to postponement court on June 9. Judge Phinn she expects the prosecution and defense attorney Howard Cardin to present an offer.

Thomas allegedly shot and killed Antonio Clayton on the 2200 block of Sidney Avenue in December 2019, according to the Baltimore Sun. He is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a violent crime, having a loaded handgun on his person, and having a firearm possession with a felony conviction.

Prosecutors continued postponement court by presenting the case of Baltimore residents Jerry Cruz, 20, and Ulises Lopez, 21, who allegedly shot and killed  28-year-old Sergio Jones on the 400 block of S. Lehigh Street in March 2020, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Lopez was offered a plea of life, which he rejected.

The prosecution in the Cruz case was not in attendance and both cases were pushed to reception court on July 22.

Cruz is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and one count of firearm use in a violent crime, possession of a firearm as a minor, having a loaded handgun in a vehicle, and having a loaded handgun on is person. He is represented by defense attorney Raymond Griffith.

Lopez is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and one count of firearm use in a violent crime, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm as a minor, having a loaded handgun in a vehicle, and having a loaded handgun on is person. He is represented by defense attorneys Akiva Gross and Michael Baruch.

Three cases were also presented for Baltimore resident Edward Foster, 39, one of which involved attempted murder.

Two separate charges are filed against Foster for an attempted murder. In one case, Foster is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, firearm use in a violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a firearm, having a handgun on his person, reckless endangerment, discharging a firearm, and illegal possession of ammo. 

The second set of charges against Foster include conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to first-degree assault, conspiracy to use a firearm in a violent crime, having a handgun on his person, and conspiracy to second-degree assault.

The prosecution offered a plea to life, suspending all but 35 years, with the first five years without parole for one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of firearm use in a violent crime.

The offer was also rejected.

In a third case, Foster was offered a plea of 10 years for one count of armed robbery, five years without parole for firearm possession with a felony conviction, and five years without parole for firearm use in a violent crime. 

Assistant public defender Sharon Dubey said Foster rejected the offer.

Judge Phinn scheduled a trial for all of the cases on Aug. 9.

Jordan Brice’s case was also presented for charges of possessing a firearm as a minor, having a handgun on his person, firing a gun within the city, second-degree assault, and illegal possession of ammo.

The prosecution offered a plea of five years, suspending all but time served, and three years probation for possession of a firearm as a minor, a concurrent three years suspended and three years probation for having a handgun on his person, as well as a special condition of probation that Brice not own, operate, possess or be around dirt bikes.

Defense attorney Alex Leikus said Brice accepted the offer and a plea is scheduled for June 14.