Men Accused of Shooting Ballot Box Guard Reject Plea Offer

Two co-defendants accused of shooting a security guard, who was guarding a ballot box for the United States presidential election, rejected plea during reception court on Sept. 23 at Baltimore City Circuit Court.

A trial date was also scheduled.

Jamal Simmons, 28, and Christopher Winchester, 25 are charged with the non-fatal shooting of a security guard in Northeast Baltimore. They are both charged with attempted first and second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first and second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, two counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, firearm use in a felony violent crime, and five other firearm-related charges. 

According to the Baltimore Sun, officers responded to a reported shooting on the 2200 block of Pinewood Avenue just before 5 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2020. Upon arrival, officers found the victim in his car, suffering from gunshot wounds to his side. The injuries were reported as life-threatening, and two weeks after the incident, he was listed as stable but remained in the hospital. 

The victim was guarding a ballot box for the 2020 presidential election outside of the Achievement Academy High School in Northeast Baltimore.

On Thursday, the prosecution offered both defendants the same plea: life, suspending all but 40 years with the first five years without parole for attempted first-degree murder and firearm use in a felony violent crime. Simmons and Winchester would also have to register as gun offenders. 

Simmons, represented by defense attorney Alan Cohen, and Winchester, represented by Tony Garcia, both rejected this offer. 

Judge Melissa K. Copeland set their trial to begin on Feb. 15, 2020.

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