Judge Continues Scheduling Hearing for Man Accused of Barber Shop Murder

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On Sept. 18, a first-degree murder defendant’s case moved from his scheduled jury trial to reception court for a new date before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Phinn.

The assistant state’s attorney was trying another case, so could not be present to prosecute defendant Donte Simms before Judge Jeannie J. Hong today. The killing allegedly occurred in a barber shop.

 In reception court, Simms’ attorney, Bradley MacFee, did not object to the prosecution’s request for postponement, as he also needed more time to interview witnesses. 

Since MacFee and the prosecution are looking toward 2024 for the trial, Judge Phinn continued the hearing to Oct. 13, when the calendar for the new year is expected to be available.

Simms, 45, is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime and firearm possession with a felony conviction in connection to an Aug. 15, 2022, incident on the 300 block of Park Avenue.

According to documents from the District Court of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department officers responded to the scene for reports of an overdose. By the time police arrived, medics were already transporting the victim, 35-year-old Eric Plater, to Shock Trauma for treatment of a single gunshot wound to the chest. A witness identified Simms as the person seen on surveillance footage putting the victim outside of the barber shop where the shooting occurred. 

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