Judge Grants Mistrial for Attempted Murder Defendant Unsatisfied with His Defense Counsel

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On Feb. 21, a Baltimore man charged with attempted murder appeared for the first day of trial before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jeannie J. Hong

As the jury was being brought into the courtroom, an argument ensued between the defendant, Rico Blick, and his public defender George Harris II as a result of the assistant state’s attorney inquiring about the ability to show video evidence to the jury. 

When addressing Judge Hong, the defendant exclaimed, “I did not see any body-worn camera footage.”

“I should be granted a mistrial because I am in trial now and have not seen any evidence,” Blick insisted. He continued to state that he had “no reason to lie about anything” and that he wanted his attorney to “represent him correctly.”

Harris expressed that his client “had not raised any of these concerns this morning.”

In response to Blick’s statements, Judge Hong stated her hesitancy to allow the defendant, 28, to fire his attorney due to the inability for the assistant state’s attorney to try him again.  

Judge Hong reminded Blick that “jeopardy has attached” because a jury had been sworn in. 

Judge Hong advised Blick of two options to either “fire Mr. Harris and represent yourself today” or request a mistrial.

The assistant state’s attorney noted that it would be “unfair to grant a mistrial” as the state was prepared to move forward with trial during Tuesday’s hearing.  

Harris voiced his concern about Blick’s ability to represent himself successfully and noted that he “did not see a way forward as his attorney” as these are “extenuating circumstances.”

Blick is charged with attempted first and second-degree murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit first and second-degree assault, theft of less than $100, and several gun-related charges. Prior to the first day of trial, the attempted murder charges were dismissed. 

According to the statement of charges, on Dec. 7, 2021, two black males in a gray Hyundai Sonata were reported as persons of interest in an armed robbery on Dec. 7, 2021 near the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. On Dec. 8, 2021, Blick and Kevin Ellis were observed in a car matching this description after further reporting of another armed robbery that morning. 

Following a high speed car chase and an on-foot pursuit, Blick was arrested and identified by one of the victims as a one of the men involved with the robbery.  

Judge Hong granted a mistrial on the grounds of manifest necessity following the dissatisfaction of the defendant with his attorney’s actions. The defendant is scheduled to appear in reception court on Feb. 22 to receive a new trial date before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn.

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