Jury Finds Codefendants Not Guilty of Murder in Gang-Related Homicide

Baltimore Courthouse

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“Don’t disrespect Theodore Richards without paying for it. And Mr. Bailey paid for it with his life,” said a Baltimore City prosecutor during her closing argument on Aug. 3.

The prosecutor alleged victim Damon Bailey, 28, said something offensive about Richards, 37, to Justin Westbrook. Westbrook then called the codefendants—who were believed to be involved with the Rollin 60 Crips, according to court documents—to help confront Bailey. Antuan Dubose, 33, allegedly told Westbrook to “handle that” before Westbrook shot Bailey 14 times

Both codefendants were found not guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and second-degree murder on Aug. 4 in their retrial before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Yolanda A. Tanner in connection to Bailey’s death on June 10, 2021. 

The first-degree murder charge was disregarded after the jury’s decision on the other charges. A verdict was not rendered for the firearm use in a felony violent crime charge. 

The prosecutor argued that Dubose’s statement was an “order, hit, execution.” In her closing argument, she showed call logs between Westbrook and the codefendants before the incident and their cell phone location at the time and place of the murder. Surveillance footage showed three men corner Bailey. 

Defense attorney Robert Cohen, who represented Dubose alongside attorney Janet Andersen, questioned the credibility of two primary witnesses who originally identified the codefendants as responsible for the murder. During closing arguments, Cohen suggested the witnesses may have even framed the codefendants for a murder they actually committed, citing the inconsistencies in their recollection of the story.

“I don’t trust anything this man says,” said Cohen in reference to a witness’s testimony and his criminal record. 

He also argued since the primary witnesses were the first people Baltimore Police Department detectives spoke to, they were able to “control the narrative.” 

There was no physical evidence pinning the defendants to the murder and camera footage didn’t show the shooting. 

“It should be offensive to you that this is the case they put before you,” said defense attorney Brandon Patterson, who represented Richards.  “They’re asking you to take a leap of faith. Don’t fall down that rabbit hole.”

“The defense’s job is to confuse you and distract you from the evidence,” said the prosecutor in her rebuttal. “They know their clients are guilty.”

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