New, Unavailable Counsel Delays Decision on Trial Date for 2021 Homicide Defendant

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Stand-in attorneys for new counsel for both the defense and prosecution were unable to schedule a trial date for a defendant accused of two 2021 murders before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Phinn on Aug. 24. 

Elliot Marcus Knox’s previous attorney, Christoper Flohr, struck his appearance from the case, but Knox’s new defense attorney, Tara G. LeCompte, was in trial, so she was represented by Gregory Fischer. Similarly, the new prosecutor assigned to the case could not be present for the hearing and was represented by a stand-in. 

The stand-in prosecutor requested a date for a motion hearing to join the two cases against 33-year-old Knox into one. Fischer was unable to reach LeCompte for her availability, leading Judge Phinn to continue the hearing. The parties will reconvene on Sept. 26 to schedule the motions hearing and possible 2024 trial date. 

Knox is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction, having a loaded handgun on his person and having a loaded handgun in his vehicle in both cases in connection to two incidents that occurred on Dec. 16, 2021. 

According to documents from the District Court of Maryland, police responded to the 600 block of Lucia Avenue for reports of a shooting. They found 38-year-old Justin Johnson in the driver’s seat of his vehicle suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Medics later pronounced Johnson dead at the scene.

Cartridge casings from the crime scene were consistent with those found at another crime scene on the 4400 block of Pennington Avenue, where a Baltimore Police Department officer was shot in her patrol car. In an interview with police, Knox admitted to his and his codefendant’s involvement in both shootings. WBAL reported that Officer Keona Holley, 39, was taken off life support a week after the shooting and died.

Knox’s codefendant, 34-year-old Travon Shaw, will next appear in court on Sept. 27. 

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