Judge Sentences Defendant to 25 Years For Murder, Assault, Probation Violation

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Family members of homicide defendant Xavier Harper sat in the first row of a Baltimore City Circuit courtroom on March 20 to convince the 25-year-old defendant to take the prosecution’s plea offer for cases involving murder, assault, and violation of probation.

Defense attorneys Janet Andersen and Robert Cohen represented Harper during Monday morning’s proceedings before Judge Charles Dorsey in regard to three separate cases, two of which occurred within two weeks of each other.

Harper was first charged with first-degree murder for fatally shooting a man on Halloween in 2021. The prosecutor informed the court that Baltimore Police were called to the 700 block of E. 20th Street just after 12:30 a.m. when they found the male victim with a gunshot wound to his head.

One projectile was also found at the scene. Detectives learned Harper had threatened to kill the victim the day before the shooting and that a witness had seen the defendant and victim walk into an alleyway followed by hearing a gunshot.

On Nov. 12, 2021, Harper was accused of assaulting his girlfriend on the 1600 block of Cliftview Avenue during an argument over money. He was arrested the same day on the 2300 block of Harford Road.

On Monday, counsel reached a plea agreement for these charges to run concurrently with each other, including violation of probation for a drug conviction from November 2017. Judge Dorsey sentenced the defendant to the following terms of the plea:

Homicide case: life, suspending all but 25 years, and five years of probation for first-degree murder and a concurrent five years without parole for firearm use in a felony violent crime.

Assault case: 20 years, suspending all but 10 years, and five years of probation as well as a stay-away order for first-degree assault, and five years without parole for firearm use in a felony violent crime. This plea runs concurrently to the homicide case and requires Harper to register as a gun offender.

Violation of probation: 20 years to run concurrently with the aforementioned cases.

“You had very good attorneys,” Judge Dorsey said to the defendant. “This is a horrendous crime and a chain of them.”

The judge concluded that he hopes the defendant changes once he is released from incarceration, recommending Harper for the Patuxent Youth Offender program and the opportunity to participate in educational and professional development courses.

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