In Closing Statements, Prosecutor and Defense Spar Over Evidence

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As a murder trial drew to a close, defense attorney Augustine Okeke argued in Baltimore City Circuit Court the prosecution hadn’t provided solid evidence his client murdered anyone, and only showed several people near the scene could have committed the crime.

Donzo Monk Jr., 27, is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, having a handgun in a vehicle, having a handgun on his person and firearm possession with a felony conviction in connection to the murder of Bryant Timmons.

In his closing statement before Judge Jeannie J. Hong, on Nov. 7, Okeke asked the court, “Where is the evidence?” He noted that there was no DNA from Monk found on the gun the prosecution brought forward. He also asserted the police searched Monk’s house and car twice but found no evidence. 

Additionally, Okeke stated the video footage available did not show who shot 26-year-old Timmons, but only that several people were nearby at the time of the shooting.

The prosecution, in turn, argued video evidence showed Monk was carrying a gun. They pointed to testimony from an expert witness who frequently analyzes body language. The witness stated that in video footage which showed Monk running after Timmons was shot, Monk’s body language indicated he had a gun on him at the time.

The prosecution maintained Monk was the leader of a group because he had a gun and he was the driver of the car they used to flee the scene. They felt that Monk was therefore the most culpable.

The prosecution also used cell phone tracking data to prove that Monk was at the scene of the crime. They emphasized the distinguishing wings on the back of a black car the suspect was driving as well as the pattern on a black shirt the suspect was wearing, which allegedly had a picture of the defendant’s girlfriend at the time.

Video footage also captured Monk talking to Timmons outside of a gas station minutes before he was shot. The prosecution emphasized that it looked like they were arguing because Timmons’ friend pulled him away.

The prosecution argued that Monk went to retrieve his gun from his car after the fight and therefore murdered Timmons with premeditation.

On March 10, 2022, Baltimore Police Department officers responded to a call from a bus stop on the 6800 block of Sturbridge Drive, where they found Timmons suffering from a fatal gunshot. He died three days later in the hospital. 

Monk’s trial was initially set for March 14, and then postponed until June 7, when it was once again rescheduled to Oct. 31 by Judge Melissa M. Phinn.

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