Identity of East Hoffman Street Shooter Remains ‘a Mystery,’ Defense Concludes

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“You put all of the pieces together and the 2600 block of East Hoffman Street is a dark circle.”

At the conclusion of homicide defendant Tyrone Fenner’s jury trial on Dec. 15, his defense counsel, Roland Harris, was emphatic as he argued the prosecution’s evidence simply wasn’t enough to convict his client beyond a reasonable doubt.

Fenner, 35, is charged with the murder of Donte Miller, who was shot and killed on Nov. 15, 2022, in the Berea neighborhood of East Baltimore. Charges against the defendant include first and second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first and second-degree murder, firearm use in a felony or violent crime and firearm possession with a felony conviction.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Erik S. Atas presided over the trial, with the jury beginning deliberations Friday afternoon. Fenner was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony or violent crime and firearm possession with a felony conviction on Dec. 15, 2023.

His sentencing is currently scheduled on Feb. 2, according to the Maryland Judiciary website.

“It’s a mystery. [The prosecution] admits it,” Harris continued, referring to the prosecutor’s closing argument.

Earlier in the proceeding, the prosecution said jurors may have different theories regarding Miller’s murder, including deciphering the identity of the shooter and the driver of the suspect’s vehicle, a silver 2013 Acura MDX.

Text messages between Fenner and his co-defendant, Clipper Jordan, were found on the former’s phone, revealing Fenner picked Jordan up on Forest Road around 1:30 p.m. The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) was able to track the vehicle around Baltimore City as the two men picked up Fenner’s girlfriend, dropped her off at her son’s daycare and then proceeded to circle around East Hoffman Street.

At 2:18 p.m., video evidence played at trial shows the passenger get out of the vehicle. Two bystanders are seen running two minutes later, the prosecutor said, indicating this was when Miller was shot.

The prosecution did not confirm the identity of the shooter nor the vehicle’s driver, saying it was possible Fenner and Jordan switched seats and/or exchanged the firearm at some point. However, evidence placed both men inside the vehicle between 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

The prosecution also said the shell casings found at the crime scene and recovered from Miller’s body were consistent with the Polymer80 handgun found under the vehicle’s driver’s seat at the time of Fenner’s arrest. A license plate reader confirmed the vehicle’s tag number, which was registered to the defendant.

Harris countered that Fenner had “absolutely no motive.” He then reminded the jury of a DNA expert’s testimony, which revealed there was DNA from at least three contributors found on the recovered murder weapon, a Polymer80 handgun.

“This case is unacceptable,” Harris concluded.

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