Judge Needs More Information Before Scheduling Murder Trial

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Stand-in attorneys with limited information caused an 18-year-old murder defendant’s hearing to be continued until the end of the month before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa K. Copeland.

Parris Harris is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, firearm use in a felony violent crime, possession of a firearm as a minor and having a handgun on his person in connection to a Jan. 26, 2023, incident.

During the Feb. 5 reception court hearing, both the prosecution and the defense’s representatives were stand-in attorneys. The assistant attorney general standing in for the assigned prosecutor was not aware of any plea offers made before or if there was an offer he was supposed to extend. He also did not know how many days the trial would take stating there was outstanding forensic and ballistic evidence in the case.

The stand-in prosecutor went on to tell the court that counsel had agreed on a May trial date.

Stand-in defense attorney Sabrina Wood said they could not schedule an earlier trial date due to Roland Harris’ scheduled paternity leave in April.

Judge Copeland could not schedule the case without knowing how many days the trial would take. She continued the hearing to Feb. 29, when the assigned attorneys are expected to appear with complete information.

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