Judge Grants Defense’s Motion to Acquit Defendant of Murder Charges

Baltimore Courthouse

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Before the case could be handed to the jury for deliberations on Jan. 12, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Myshala Middleton granted the defense counsel’s motion to acquit homicide defendant Kamren Cannady, 22, of all charges.

Cannady attempted to hide a smile as cheers erupted from those in the gallery who knew him. However, they were abruptly silenced by Judge Middleton, who acknowledged the murder of James Byrd, for which the defendant was charged.

“At the end of the day, someone was killed,” Judge Middleton said. “Someone is not living or breathing.”

Byrd was killed in a shooting on the 300 block of S. Fulton Avenue on Oct. 24, 2021. Cannady was later charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, and having a handgun in a vehicle.

At the conclusion of testimony on Jan. 11, defense attorney Robert Cole submitted his motion for judgment of acquittal, citing that there was insufficient evidence that his client fired a handgun, let alone was responsible for Byrd’s murder. This was previously discussed during opening statements when it was revealed that the defendant was seated on the passenger’s side of the car rather than the driver’s side, where the gunshots were allegedly fired.

While addressing Cannady on Thursday morning, Judge Middleton said she does not hope to see him in her courtroom again.

“Next time, you might not be so lucky,” Judge Middleton said.

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