Man Accused of Pushing Victim Onto Train Tracks Gets Trial Date

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After hearing his complaints about his attorney, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Phinn scheduled the trial of a 40-year-old homicide defendant on Nov. 20. 

Joseph White is charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and first- and second-degree assault for allegedly pushing 28-year-old Christopher Foster onto subway tracks in April.

The prosecutor told Judge Phinn that she needed to meet with the victim’s family and send defense attorney James Sweeting III additional evidence before she could make a plea offer. 

Even though Sweeting himself didn’t have all the evidence, White hadn’t seen any evidence. Judge Phinn told Sweeting’s stand-in attorney, Deborah Levi, to tell him to send White whatever evidence he currently had. 

White told the court he was “not totally satisfied” with Sweeting’s performance as his attorney, as he had only met with him once since being assigned the case in July. White asked if Levi, a public defender, could take the case. Levi and White entered a breakout room to discuss his representation further.

When they returned, Judge Phinn scheduled White’s four-day trial to begin on May 1, 2024, before Judge Althea M. Handy. White will likely continue retaining Sweeting as his attorney.

According to a Baltimore Police Department press release, authorities in New York arrested and extradited White in May for Foster’s death at the Port Discovery subway station on the 700 block of East Baltimore Street. Medics pronounced Foster dead on the scene on April 12. Preliminary investigation determined that he was electrocuted by the subway tracks. 

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