Judge May Prioritize Homicide Defendant’s Trial after Fourth Postponement

Baltimore Court Seal

A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge said she would consider prioritizing the trial of homicide defendant Shae-von Edwards over a younger case following the former’s multiple postponements from COVID and changes in prosecutors. 

Edwards, who is charged with a homicide that occurred in June 2020, appeared in reception court before Judge Melissa Phinn on Nov. 22 to discuss a new trial date following the announcement of the prosecutors’ unavailability to try the case last week. Defense attorney Creston Smith expressed frustration during Tuesday’s hearing, having represented Edwards through all four postponements.

The defendant’s case was postponed in February 2021 and February 2022 due to COVID, and in August 2021 and November 2022 due to changes in prosecutors, said Smith, who told Judge Phinn he would be available to try the case as early as Jan. 30, 2023. A prosecutor standing in for the assistant state’s attorney assigned to the case informed the court that the assigned prosecutor is unavailable until April 25, 2023, due to back-to-back trials.

After discussing the assigned prosecutor’s schedule, Judge Phinn said she may prioritize Edwards’ case over another case the prosecutor is trying in mid-February 2023, by pushing the currently assigned case to another date since Edwards’ case is older. The judge informed counsel that Edwards will return to reception court on Nov. 30 when the assigned prosecutor can attend to discuss a new trial date.

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