Safe Streets Employee Rejects Plea to Vehicular Manslaughter

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A Safe Streets employee accused of striking and killing a biker in 2020 rejected a plea offer on July 7 in reception court before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn.

Gardnel Carter, 60, is charged with vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent manslaughter in connection to the death of 58-year-old Charles Buster Banks on Dec 20, 2020. 

On Thursday, Carter was offered a plea offer of eight years for grossly negligent vehicular manslaughter. He and his defense attorney, Catherine Flynnn, rejected the deal. 

According to Fox 45 Baltimore, Carter, also known as “Hamza,” allegedly cut into a bike lane while going 20 mph over the speed limit and hit Banks, who was riding a bike, from behind. Banks was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Fox 45 exposed an email from Carter’s employer, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, showed internal support for Carter after his arrest, which raised questions about the integrity of the office. 

Carter’s trial is set to begin on Jan. 9, 2023. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Charles Dorsey is slated to preside over the trial.

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