Judge Sets Trial Date and Defense Denies Plea Offer in Hearing for Murder Defendant

Baltimore Court Seal

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

Donate Now

During a Nov. 14 reception court proceeding, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn presided over counsels as they decided on a trial date. The defense rejected a plea offer posed by the prosecution on behalf of a murder defendant.

Taiwan Mitchell, 40, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of possessing a gas/air pellet gun in connection to the shooting of 36-year-old Roy Henry Cantler on Nov. 13, 2021, on the 2200 block of Christian Street.

At Monday’s hearing, parties struggled to reach an agreement regarding a trial date, citing several scheduling conflicts. 

The defense and prosecution initially proposed an Aug. 7, 2023, trial date, but Judge Phinn rejected this offer, stating, “I’m just not going to do it.” 

Mitchell has been held for a whole year without a trial, prompting Judge Phinn to instruct counsels to “go back to the drawing board.”

According to CBS News, Mitchell allegedly fired several fatal shots at Cantler following an “unspecified dispute” between them.

During the proceeding, the prosecution proposed a plea offer involving a life sentence suspended as 50 years for a guilty plea to first-degree murder. 

Mitchell’s defense attorney, Staci Pipkin, declined this offer, informing the court that her client was not interested in entertaining it.

The defendant is expected to undergo trial on May 1, 2023, in what counsels approximate to be a five day matter. 

Mitchell is currently being held in Central Booking as he awaits his trial date.

Follow this case