Retrial in Limbo for Man Accused of Murder, Burning Body

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On Feb. 29, homicide defendant Jimmy Murphy received a motions hearing date from Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa K. Copeland.

Murphy, 28, is being retried for first- and second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, firearm use in a felony violent crime, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, having a handgun on his person, having a loaded handgun on his person, second-degree arson and two counts of altering physical evidence.

On March 9, 2023, Murphy was found guilty for killing 27-year-old Cornelius Bruce, but he was recently granted a retrial after his attorney, Martin Cohen, successfully petitioned the court.

He submitted a motion for retrial on the grounds that the defense wasn’t aware that the attempted murder victim, who was 19-years-old at the time of the incident, sent a letter to the prosecution after the trial saying Murphy was innocent.

During the proceeding, counsel informed Copeland they could not schedule the retrial before Judge John A. Howard ruled on the prosecution’s motion to reconsider the new trial.

Copeland reached out to Judge Howard for available dates and after some discussion, Copeland scheduled Murphy for a motions hearing on March 14.

According to Baltimore Witness, 31-year-old Cordelle Bruce was killed on Jan. 14, 2020, following a dispute over a marijuana deal. During an attempt to avenge his brother’s death, Cornelius Bruce was allegedly shot and killed by the defendant. Murphy allegedly attempted to cover up the crime by setting a car on fire with Cornelius’s body inside.

Cornelius’s body was discovered by Baltimore Police Department (BPD)investigators on the 2800 block of Saint Lo Drive on Jan. 20, 2020, with a gunshot wound to his head.

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