‘I’m Just as Confused as You Are,’ Non-Fatal Shooting Defendant Tells Judge During Scheduling Hearing

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A defendant was sent back from a Baltimore City Circuit Court trial to a hectic reception court hearing on Aug. 7 due to his defense attorney seeking a postponement to recover possible exculpatory evidence.

Calvin Hemphill and his defense attorney, Josh Insley, first appeared before Judge Yolanda A. Tanner for the first day of trial. Judge Tanner granted Insley time to speak to his client before trial since it was hard to reach Hemphill, 42, in prison.

When both attorneys left the room, Hemphill attempted to speak to Judge Tanner who told him four times, “You do not want to talk to me.” 

After the attorneys returned, Insley told Judge Tanner that Hemphill believed there was exculpatory evidence on Hemphill’s cell phone and he requested a postponement to prepare for trial. Judge Tanner said she would only allow this postponement because the alleged evidence is possibly exculpatory. Judge Tanner called Judge Melissa M. Phinn to send both parties over.

In reception court, Insley told Judge Phinn that he and Hemphill had engaged in plea discussions with the prosecutor and had entered into an agreement with the state’s attorney’s office that the prosecutor refused to verify. 

The prosecutor told Judge Phinn that there was no written agreement. The agreement in question was a cooperation agreement to postpone the trial in this case until after the trial for an unrelated homicide matter that Hemphill is involved in. 

Insley expressed his frustration about not getting documentation of this agreement, and alleged he was caught in a “beef” between the homicide division of the State’s Attorney’s Office and Judge Phinn her honor. Judge Phinn vehemently denied this and advised Insley not to make such reckless claims on the record.

After the prosecutor’s supervisor was brought into the courtroom to verify the lack of documentation, he told Judge Phinn that there was no official agreement.

The evidence Hemphill said was on his phone is being held, and Judge Phinn told them she would allow a postponement to find this evidence.

Judge Phinn set the new trial date for Nov. 20 before Judge Charles H. Dorsey III. It is expected to last three days.

Hemphill is charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder,  first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, firearm use in a felony violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, possession of firearms, loaded handgun on person and discharging firearms in connection to an April 17, 2022 incident.

According to a Baltimore Police Department (BPD) news release, officers were dispatched to the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue around 8:49 p.m. for reports of gunshots. When they arrived, officers found a 53-year-old man with an apparent gunshot wound.

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