Attempted homicide defendant James Wilkes accepted a plea of 35 years incarceration on May 16 for shooting a man outside the victim’s home on North Eutaw Street last summer.
The 54-year-old defendant was initially scheduled for trial on May 15 when his defense attorney, Dalia Weintraub, presented pre-trial motions to exclude discussing his prior criminal record at trial as well as marijuana being recovered at the scene, both of which were granted by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Dana Middleton.
However, after selecting the jury on Monday, Wilkes returned to court on Tuesday and agreed to the prosecution’s offer of 30 years and five years of supervised probation for attempted second-degree murder and a consecutive 20 years, suspending all but five years and five years of supervised probation for firearm use in a felony violent crime. Under the plea, he must also stay away from the victim and register as a gun offender.
Court documents state that on July 2, 2022, the 52-year-old victim was at his home on the 600 block of North Eutaw Street and heard someone banging on the front door. A woman who lives with the victim told Baltimore Police that when he answered the door, she heard the victim say, “You’re really gonna do this here with the cameras here?” followed by a pop.
The victim, who was shot in his left thigh, ran to grab a towel for his gunshot wound and then waited for medics to arrive.
An officer nearby heard the gunshot around 6:45 p.m. and saw a man—later identified as Wilkes—walking with a gun and get into a red Toyota Corolla, which the officer stopped at the intersection of Cathedral and Saratoga streets. The female driver and Wilkes were taken into custody, with the latter then taken to the hospital to treat a stab wound.
The woman driving Wilkes told police that she picked him up at a barber shop in the area and saw he was stabbed. According to court documents, the woman convinced Wilkes to go to the hospital, but he told her that he first wanted to get a shirt from the barber shop on North Eutaw Street. He then got out of the car and returned 10 minutes later, placing a gun on her lap and telling her to drive.
The woman later identified Wilkes in video surveillance footage in connection to the shooting investigation. No details were discussed regarding how Wilkes was stabbed.Follow this case