A Baltimore City jury acquitted 41-year-old Jermaine Jeter of several attempted murder charges on Sept. 8 in connection to an alleged standoff with Baltimore Police Department (BPD) officers in 2021.
The weeklong trial concluded with closing arguments on Friday when the jury also reached its verdict. Charges sent to the jury included five counts each of attempted second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, firearm use in a felony or violent crime and reckless endangerment as well as single counts of firearm possession with a felony conviction and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Jeter was found guilty of five counts of reckless endangerment and single counts of first-degree assault, firearm use in a felony or violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number and not guilty of all remaining counts.
His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15.
Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Paul E. Alpert presided over the trial.
Throughout the trial and during his closing argument, defense attorney Brandon Taylor—who represented Jeter alongside attorney Dwayne Hardware—walked jurors through the defendant’s mindset on the night of Nov. 26, 2021, and the “military-like tactics” used by BPD’s Warrant Apprehension Task Force (WATF).
“Police and law are in place for a reason,” Taylor said.
The prosecutor previously informed the jury that WATF went to Jeter’s ex-girlfriend’s home on the 2500 block of Loyola Northway to serve multiple warrants out for his arrest. Taylor noted that Jeter had been in fear for his life due to rumors of his alleged wrongdoings “circulating in the streets” and he had sought refuge at his ex’s home.
When the defendant’s ex notified police, Taylor said in his closing argument, WATF went to the residence and did not announce their presence, but instead, “crept up” to the home. Unaware of who was outside, Jeter fired three warning shots, which Taylor said were “not unreasonable in this city.”
While Jeter was accused of firing the gunshots from a second-story bedroom window, the defense attorney reminded jurors of a witness testimony’s that no gunshot residue was found on the window’s curtains that would have indicated the gun was fired at close range. Taylor clarified Jeter did not barricade himself inside or create a standoff with police, but agreed to come outside after he was able to contact his family through police.
Taylor concluded that his client was unaware of any police presence, which was indicated in body camera footage of the defendant telling police, “Y’all scared the f— outta me,” at the time of his arrest.
Earlier in the proceeding, the prosecutor said BPD was following protocols, telling jurors that informing Jeter of their arrival would have given him the opportunity to flee.
“[Police were] just doing their job,” she said. “They were not making any threats to him.”
The prosecutor also disagreed with counsel’s description of the situation, saying this was a standoff that began around 6:41 p.m. and did not end until Jeter surrendered around 1:16 a.m. the next morning.
“It doesn’t matter if he didn’t shoot somebody,” the prosecutor said. “He’s lucky he didn’t.”Follow this case