Retrial Postponed for 1976 Convicted Double Murder Defendant

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On Jan. 24, a Baltimore man convicted of a double murder in 1976 had his retrial postponed after his defense counsel raised concerns over his competency before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer

Gold Leroy Bass Jr. had his first-degree murder and firearm use in a felony violent crime charges overturned in his Sept. 2020 following court appeal. These charges are in connection to the two fatal shootings of Harry McGee and Nathaniel Sheppard on Dec. 21, 1973.

According to court documents, the shooting occurred following a dispute over marijuana. McGee and Sheppard were allegedly in a car with the defendant, who forced McGee to throw the drugs in the back seat of the car. 

In the midst of Bass retrieving the drugs in the backseat, the defendant fatally shot McGee and Sheppard, later claiming that the shooting was in self-defense. 

On Tuesday, Bass’ defense counsel, Janine Meckler, requested a postponement due to concerns regarding the defendant’s mental health. She claimed that the communication between the defendant and herself had been difficult. Meckler said it seemed like the defendant did not understand what she was saying.

The prosecutor did not oppose Meckler’s concerns, so Judge Schiffer granted the defense’s request and sent the defendant’s case to Judge Melissa M. Phinn for rescheduling. 

Standing before Judge Phinn, Meckler motioned to have a postponement and a mental health evaluation for her client, which the judge granted. Bass’ mental health hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25, with Judge Gale E. Rasin presiding.

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