Judge Schedules Third Murder Retrial

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On March 22, a 32-year-old homicide defendant appeared before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa K. Copeland to schedule his third trial for a 2020 murder. 

Donnell Johnson is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, having a handgun on his person and in a vehicle for the death of 27-year-old Kenneth Bivens on Sept. 10, 2020.

Johnson’s second trial ended last week resulting in a mistrial on March 15. Johnson’s first trial in 2022 had the same outcome.

Johnson’s new attorney, Natalie Finegar, did not appear in reception court; Romel Showell stood in for her on Johnson’s behalf.

Judge Copeland scheduled Johnson’s third trial to begin on Aug. 8 before Judge Cynthia H. Jones.

Documents from the District Court of Maryland reveal Bivens died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head on the 1000 block of Beaumont Avenue after he and Johnson allegedly got into a physical altercation. 

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