Judge Reschedules Reception Court for Attempted Murder Co-Defendants Due to Scheduling Conflict

Thank you for reading Baltimore Witness. Help us continue our mission into 2024.

Donate Now

On April 11, counsels were unable to reach an agreement on a trial date for attempted murder co-defendants before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn

The prosecution offered co-defendant Dartagnan Smith an aggregated sentence of 30 years, suspending all but 20 years, the first five years without the possibility of parole, and five years of supervised probation for attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and possession of a firearm with a felony conviction. 

The 23-year-old defendant also would have had to register as a gun offender. 

Smith and defense attorney Karyn Meriwether rejected the plea offered to them. 

No plea offer was mentioned for co-defendant Rudolph Riddick and defense attorney John Deros. 

Deros informed Judge Phinn that he would like to have the trial start as soon as possible in response to the prosecutor’s request for an October trial date. The date requested went well beyond his client’s Hick’s date, which is his right to be tried within 180 days of his or his attorney’s first court appearance. The Hick’s date for 25-year-old Riddick is July 30.

Judge Phinn informed the stand-in assistant state’s attorney that if a motion for joiner had not already been filed, there may be a chance that Deros would get his earlier trial date.

An earlier trial date will be scheduled if the prosecution does not file a formal motion for joinder of the two cases. 

Judge Phinn rescheduled for the counsel to appear again in reception court on April 14 to decide on a trial date for the co-defendants.

According to charging statements, on Aug. 16, 2022, the first victim was grazed three times on the 1200 block of West Baltimore Street by mistaken identity. The second intended victim was then shot by a moving vehicle. Police detectives believe Riddick was driving and Smith was in the rear driver’s side of the car that struck the second victim. 

Smith and Riddick are charged with one count each of attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, having a handgun on his person, use of a firearm in a felony violent crime, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to having a handgun on his person, and conspiracy to use a firearm in a felony violent crime. 

They are also charged with two counts each of first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. 

Smith is charged with an additional count of discharging a firearm, possessing a firearm with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, and illegal possession of ammunition.

Follow this case