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Nearly a decade after a non-fatal shooting, a Baltimore man is being charged with homicide following the death of the victim one year ago.
The defendant, Corey Jennings, is currently serving 25 years in prison for the attempted murder of Ryan Watson. Jennings pleaded guilty in 2012.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Jennings, 28, shot Watson, 34, in the neck on June 14, 2011, on the 2500 block of Boarman Avenue. Watson suffered from numerous medical complications in the years after the shooting, which left him paralyzed.
On the ninth anniversary of the shooting, Watson died on June 14, 2020. The medical examiner’s office performed an autopsy and ruled the death a homicide five days later.
Jennings is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a violent crime, and carrying a handgun on his person.
During reception court at the Baltimore City Circuit Court on July 19, defense attorney John Hassett said he was discussing the possibility of a plea deal for Jennings with the prosecution; however, given the complicated nature of the case, there was not yet an offer.
Judge Melissa M. Phinn scheduled the case to return to reception court on Aug. 4.
A homicide case involving three co-defendants was also scheduled for a motions hearing and to return to reception court during Wednesday’s proceedings.
Defendants Martez Frye-Cuff, Dneah Smith, and Reubin McFadden appeared in reception court for the second time this past month in connection to an incident on Dec. 3, 2019.
The co-defendants were all offered a plea deal of life, suspending all but 60 years, with five years of supervised probation, for first-degree murder. Smith and McFadden are represented by defense attorneys Catherine Flynn and Natalie McKeown Finegar, respectively. Frye-Cuff is represented by defense attorneys Stephanie Salter and Andrea Jaskulsky.
All three defendants are also charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, firearm use in a violent crime, conspiracy to use a firearm in a violent crime, carrying a handgun on his person.
Unlike Frye-Cuff, 22, both McFadden, 21, and Smith, 20, are additionally charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
The plea offers were neither accepted nor rejected because of an ongoing matter that could affect the defendants’ decisions to go to trial.
During a previous hearing on June 28, the defense attorneys discussed rescinding a witness protective order, which was motioned by Flynn. Judge Robert K. Taylor Jr. recommended that the prosecution and defense negotiate the need for the witness protection order.
However, an agreement had still not been reached by Wednesday. Flynn, Jaskulsky, and Finegar remained in favor of rescinding the order. On the other hand, the prosecution said the order was necessary for the safety of the witnesses.
To resolve the matter, a motions hearing was set for Aug. 7, and Judge Phinn scheduled the case to return to reception court on Aug. 13.
A non-fatal shooting case was also scheduled on Wednesday to return to reception court. Baltimore resident Anthony Williams faces charges in connection to a shooting on May 4, 2020.
Williams, 54, was offered a plea deal for 30 years, suspending all but 15, for attempted second-degree murder and five years for firearm use in a violent crime. Under the deal, the sentences would run concurrently; however, it was rejected by defense attorney Marci Johnson.
Williams is also charged with attempted first-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, theft between $100 and $1,500, discharging firearms, carrying a handgun on his person, firearm possession with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, and possession of a firearm by a minor.
This case is set to return to reception on Aug. 3 with an amended offer.
By contrast, the plea offer was accepted in a separate non-fatal shooting case heard by Judge Melissa K. Copeland.
The defendant was offered five years with the possibility of parole for firearm possession with a felony conviction and three years to run concurrently for having a handgun on his person. Earlier in the proceedings, the prosecution changed the first count from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Defense attorney Alexis Binder, standing in for defense attorney Brandon Mead, accepted the offer on the defendant’s behalf. Under the deal, the defendant, 38, also must register as a gun offender.
The incident took place on Oct. 17, 2020, when an officer was called to the 2000 block of McHenry Street. Upon arrival, the officer saw the defendant sitting on the ground with a gun in his right hand. The officer then chased the defendant as he fled down the 2000 block of W. Pratt Street. The defendant was apprehended and arrested after throwing the handgun during the chase.
Although the description of the incident did not seem to involve a shooting, the defendant was previously charged with discharging firearms. He was also previously charged with having a loaded handgun in a vehicle, illegal possession of ammunition, and an additional count of firearm possession with a felony conviction.
Judge Phinn also heard the case of another defendant charged with discharging firearms. Baltimore resident Karl Smith faces five counts of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and firearm use in a violent crime for an incident on June 10, 2020.
Smith, 26, is also charged with illegal possession of a regulated firearm, carrying a handgun on his person, discharging firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, having a handgun within 100 yards of a public place, malicious destruction of property with a value under $1000, and eight counts of reckless endangerment.
Defense attorney Catherine Flynn asked the prosecution to send her their discovery because she was recently assigned to the case. The prosecution agreed to her request.
The case will return to reception court on July 30 for a plea offer or to set a trial date.
The final non-fatal shooting case that Judge Phinn presided over was that of Baltimore resident Armaud Frank. Frank, 22, was allegedly involved in a non-fatal shooting on July 13, 2020.
He is represented by defense attorney Paul Polansky. No details on the status of the case were offered during the hearing, but Judge Phinn scheduled it to return to reception court on July 23.
Frank is charged with attempted first and second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, first and second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first and second-degree assault, firearm use in a violent crime, conspiracy to use a firearm in a violent crime, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, reckless endangerment, firearm possession with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, carrying a handgun on his person, carrying a handgun within 100 yards of a public place, discharging a firearm in the city, illegal possession of ammunition.Follow this case