Judge Denies Bail for 2017 Homicide Defendant Maintaining Innocence

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On Feb. 9, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Anthony F. Vittoria denied bail for a 30-year-old homicide defendant who has been held in prison for five years.

Matthew Lipscomb is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in connection to the 2017 death of 29-year-old Dione Solomon on the 2700 block of East Chase Street.

In July 2023, a jury delivered a partial verdict and found Lipscomb guilty of having a handgun on his person and firearm possession with a felony conviction. In that trial, the prosecution claimed Lipscomb was a gun for hire, who killed Solomon to bolster his “street cred” and blossoming rap career.

Defense attorney Natalie Finegar told Judge Vittoria her client has been in detention for five years now and while he is awaiting sentencing on the handgun charges and his retrial, he should be released on home detention. Lipscomb’s fiancee with whom he would be living, she said, was very supportive and had no criminal history. She asked Judge Vittoria to release her client to home detention.

The prosecution represented that Lipscomb would be a danger to the identified witnesses that testified at his first trial and who are expected to testify at his coming retrial. She claimed Lipscomb was also a flight risk due to the amount of time he’s facing: a possible double-life sentence. Due to the danger she believed Lipscomb posed to public safety and his flight risk, she asked for him to continue to be held without bail.

Though Finegar advised him not to speak, Lipscomb chose to address the court. He maintained his innocence and said he would not tamper with any witnesses if allowed to be on home detention.

“I don’t have a desire to run away,” Lipscomb said. He added that he wanted to see his seven children and “prove to society [he’s] not what people say [he is.]”

Nevertheless, due to Lipscomb’s pending sentencing hearing and retrial, Judge Vittoria ruled that he will be held without bail. 

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