Shooting Trial Focuses on Paralyzed Victim

Thank you for reading Baltimore Witness. Help us continue our mission into 2024.

Donate Now

On April 1, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Anthony F. Vittoria presided over opening statements in an attempted murder trial for a shooting that left a victim paralyzed.

Dionte Johnson, 26, is charged with  attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, firearm use in a felony violent crime, reckless endangerment, possessing a firearm with a felony conviction, possession of firearms during a controlled dangerous substance offense, having a handgun on his person and discharging firearms.

According to documents from the District Court of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department (BPD) officers responded to a March 27, 2022, non-fatal shooting that occurred on the 2300 block of East Biddle Street. Upon arrival, BPD found the victim lying in the middle of the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the neck.

Three shell casings were found on the scene.

The assistant state’s attorney said in his opening statement that this case was about the senseless taking of a man’s ability to walk, as the gunshot wound to the neck left the victim quadriplegic with no hope of recovery.

The prosecutor said the shooting was captured by surveillance cameras and that detectives later identified the alleged shooter to be Johnson through previous personal encounters and his Instagram account.

The jury can also expect to hear testimony from the victim.

Defense attorney Natalie Finegar stated that this case was not about why the victim got shot or what happened that afternoon, but rather about who shot the victim. She claimed, “This case became fatally flawed because officers made assumptions early on.” Finegar questioned why detectives videotaped and verified statements selectively, contending that the prosecution could not meet his high burden of proof in this case. 

Follow this case