Missing Witness Delays Trial of Non-Fatal Shooter

Thank you for reading Baltimore Witness. Help us continue our mission into 2024.

Donate Now

Attempted murder defendant Antonio Fitzhugh appeared in court on Feb. 16 with his attorney, Martin Cohen, ready to proceed to trial the day after it was originally scheduled.

The hold-up occurred because the prosecution’s only witness failed to appear in court on Feb. 15 in response to a bench warrant issued by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John A. Howard. Although the witness was taken into custody around 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 16, Cohen’s schedule did not permit him to proceed with the trial.

The 63-year-old defendant was charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, firearm use in a felony violent crime, two counts of reckless endangerment, having loaded handgun on his person, having a handgun in a vehicle and firing a gun in Baltimore City. 

However, the prosecutor said that as of Feb. 15, all charges have been dismissed except for first- and second-degree assault and firing a gun in Baltimore City.

According to previous coverage from June 27, 2023, the victim and the uncooperative witness were seeking shelter from the rain on the porch of a vacant home on the 800 block of West Lanvale Street.

Fitzhugh appeared from a neighboring house, yelling at the pair to vacate his property. The victim and witness claimed that they left immediately, but Fitzhugh claims that the victim “lunged at him with a knife” during an argument. The defendant, who carries a gun permit,  alleges that he shot the victim in self-defense. The witness identified Fitzhugh as the suspect in a double-blind photo array. 

Judge Howard sent the case to reception court, where Judge Melissa K. Copeland granted Fitzhugh a new trial on March 19. Judge Jeffrey M. Geller is scheduled to preside over the proceedings, which are expected to last two days.

Follow this case