Opening Arguments Underway in 2018 Francis Street Homicide

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On Nov. 7, the trial for a Baltimore man charged with murder began with opening statements before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer

Damien Woods, 35, is charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm during a felony violent crime, and the possession of a firearm with a felony conviction in connection to a homicide on Nov. 4, 2018. 

According to a press release, on the day of the incident, officers were called to the 2400 block of Francis Street for reports of a shooting, where 34-year-old Tracy Whiting was found unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds. Medics pronounced Whiting dead at the scene. 

The prosecutor said Whiting went out to a club with friends that night, “but unfortunately, that will be the last time she would go out with friends or see family.” The victim was found in an alley with eight gunshot wounds to the back.  

It was made known to the jurors by the prosecutor that they would hear testimony from the medical examiner stating the cause of death and the victim’s autopsy report. They would as well hear as testimony from the defendant’s girlfriend at the time of the incident. 

During her testimony, the defendant’s then-girlfriend will say “he will kill her like he did the victim,” the prosecutor said.

Defense attorney Angela Shelton noted that the defendant’s then-girlfriend had zero personal knowledge of what happened that night.

“You won’t hear about forensics, DNA, or anything else,” said the defense counsel to the jurors.

Defense counsel criticized the prosecutor’s case saying it was based on the testimony of two witnesses, who she claimed were uncredible. 

Woods’ trial is set to continue on Nov. 8.

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