Prosecution Alleges Man Killed Friend, Set Car on Fire During Homicide Trial

A murder trial kicked off on July 29, revealing the defendant not only allegedly shot and killed his friend, but also set a car on fire to destroy the evidence.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry G. Williams presided, along with twelve jurors who were selected on Wednesday.

Tyrek Hodge, 20, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson, conspiracy to commit second-degree arson, firearm use in a violent crime, and three additional weapons charges.

In her opening statement, the prosecutor accused the defendant of fatally shooting 19-year-old Evan Brewington six times around 10 p.m. on Aug. 17, 2019, on the 700 block of Whitmore Avenue.

According to the prosecution, Hodge and Brewington were friends.

Hodge also allegedly set a stolen car on fire that same night on the 2200 block of W. Lanvale Street. The prosecution speculated that he did this to hide the evidence of the murder.

The first witness called was the first responding officer to the scene of the homicide. The officer described how the victim was found lying on his stomach in a pool of blood. There were also pieces of broken glass, he said, potentially linking the crime scene to a car window.

The testimony was accompanied by the officer’s body camera footage. 

A total of seven cartridge cases were also found at the crime scene, according to the officer and a firearm examiner who testified. The firearm examiner noted that all of the cartridges were fired from the same firearm. 

The Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, who performed the autopsy of the victim on Aug. 18, 2019, also testified about her findings. Brewington suffered from six gunshot wounds: one to his chin, chest, abdomen, shoulder, forearm, and knee. The Medical Examiner determined that the manner of death was a homicide, and photographs of the autopsy were brought into evidence. 

The next witness to take the stand on Thursday was the first responding officer to the car fire. Upon arrival, the officer found a 2016 Honda Accord “completely engulfed in flames” and “burnt almost down to the bare metal.”

The vehicle was reported stolen three days earlier.

The Fire Department Investigator who responded to the scene also took the stand and said the fire was so strong that firefighters ran out of water while trying to put it out. From his investigation, he said he believes the fire was “willfully and intentionally set.” 

An eyewitness to the incident was subpoenaed to give his testimony. He was a friend of both the victim and the defendant. 

The witness testified that on the night of the shooting, he, Hodge, Brewington, and another friend were driving in the Honda Accord when Hodge and Brewington got into an argument. The two then got out of the car and into a physical altercation. 

The witness testified that he heard a gunshot and ran off as more gunshots followed. 

Hodge’s defense attorney Adam Frank disputed the witness’ version of events. Frank played a recording of the witness’ interview with the Baltimore Police Department on Nov. 6, 2019, which showed discrepancies between his testimony at the time of the interview and the first day of the trial. Discrepancies included where the witness was at the time of the shooting.

Frank further questioned the witness’s credibility by noting that he is on probation for his previous burglary convictions. 

The trial will continue on July 30 as the prosecution calls more witnesses to the stand.