Manslaughter Defendant in 2021 ATM Shooting Pleads Guilty to Assault

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A 26-year-old woman accused of involuntary manslaughter in 2021 pleaded down to second-degree assault for a sentence of four years on April 10.

Jasmine Jones was originally scheduled to begin jury selection on Monday, but opted for the prosecution’s plea offer of 10 years, suspending all but four years, and three years of supervised probation for second-degree assault. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Videtta Brown presided over the plea hearing, where Jones was represented by defense attorney Brandon Mead.

The defendant was initially charged with second-degree assault after the incident on Oct. 4, 2021—a charge that was upgraded to involuntary manslaughter following the victim’s death ten days later.

According to court documents, a Baltimore Police officer was on the 200 block of N. Eutaw Street just before 3:00 p.m. when he heard a bang. People nearby informed the officer that someone had been shot, and the victim, later identified as Whitney Purnell, was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Video surveillance footage showed that Jones walked inside a store, punched Purnell in the head, and then pushed the victim down, causing her to hit her head on an ATM. As Jones dragged Purnell along the floor by her hair, a gun went off, shooting Purnell in the stomach.

Jones told police that she heard witnesses say Purnell had a gun before it went off.

Court documents state that Jones ran from the store but voluntarily went to the police department’s homicide unit for an interview. Jones told police that she did hit Purnell, but that it was the victim’s gun that went off during the fight.

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