Trial Date Set for Man Accused in 2020 Belair-Edison Fatal Stabbing

A 42-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing a woman and injuring her son in Belair-Edison received his trial date on July 30 at the Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Baltimore resident Marvin Vaughn is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in front of a minor, attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder in front of a minor, and carrying a deadly weapon with the intent to injure in connection to the stabbing. 

Vaughn, 42, was offered a plea of life, suspending all but 60 years, for first-degree murder, and 35 years, to be served concurrently, for attempted first-degree murder. He was previously offered the same plea on July 7; however, defense attorney Sharon Dubey had not yet shared the offer with him.

The prior plea also included five years probation for first-degree murder.

Vaughn chose not to waive his Hick’s date, referring to his right under Maryland law to be tried within 180 days of his first court appearance. However, Judge Melissa M. Phinn found good cause to allow a postponement, citing a lack of attorney availability.

During reception court on Friday, Judge Phinn slated the trial to begin Feb. 22, 2022, with jury selection to start on Feb. 18, 2022.

Vaughn allegedly stabbed a woman and injured her son in the mother’s home on the 3500 block of Chesterfield Avenue in January 2020, according to CBS Baltimore.

Vaughn reportedly got into a physical altercation with 37-year-old Theatra Bowman, whose son, 18, then tried to protect her. Vaughn allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed both of them, killing Bowman and fracturing her son’s skull.

Bowman’s son received medical treatment, including seven staples after being stabbed multiple times in the head.

Another case involving a shooting that occurred in 2020 returned to court on Friday.

Armaud Frank is charged with attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery, assault, firearm use in a violent crime, reckless endangerment, and firing a gun in the city. The Baltimore resident’s case was previously heard before Judge Phinn a week prior.

Frank, 22, is charged in connection to an attempted murder on July 13, 2020, and was arrested on Sept. 1, 2020.

Although the specifics of the case were not discussed in court on July 23, defense attorney Paul Polansky told Judge Phinn that he received a plea offer from the prosecution but hadn’t yet discussed it with Frank. Polansky also said Frank has multiple pending cases and that he and the prosecution were “close to working it out” to resolve the cases all at once.

On Friday, Polansky said he and the prosecution were still discussing how to resolve all of Frank’s cases. Frank then waived his Hick’s date before Judge Melissa K. Copeland.

His case was then sent to Judge Phinn, where he was scheduled to return to reception court on Dec. 13.

The case of Baltimore resident Donald March also returned to reception court on Friday. March, 21, last appeared in court on July 9, on remand from an appellate court. 

An opinion issued on Oct. 15, 2019, reversed March’s 2018 conviction on the charges on the grounds that the trial court abused its discretion by preventing him from discharging his attorney prior to trial. 

Earlier this month, Isabel Lipman told the court she was March’s new defense attorney and that she was negotiating a plea with the prosecution. Lipman said that the appellate court found the trial court may have been motivated by March’s rejection of the plea offer when his sentence was declared.

On Friday, Judge Phinn scheduled the case for a plea hearing on Aug. 26, after the prosecution and defense said they had reached an agreement. 

On March 29, 2018, there was a non-fatal shooting in the defendant’s mother’s house. According to testimony, March became frustrated during a conversation with his mother and then accused a guest of giving his son beer. March’s mother told him to leave; however, he returned 10 minutes later and fired a gun.

March allegedly pointed the gun at the guest’s head and repeated the accusation. An officer arrived at the home shortly after and patted March down, finding a loaded revolver with five live rounds as well as one empty shell casing.

March was charged with two counts of first and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, as well as one count each of firearm possession with a felony conviction, illegal possession of a regulated firearm, firearm use in a violent crime, discharging firearms, carrying a handgun on his person, and illegal possession of ammunition. 

Although the Maryland Judiciary website lists one count of possession of firearms with a controlled dangerous substance in March’s case records, it was clarified during the hearing on July 9 that March is not facing this charge.

Another non-fatal shooting defendant also received an August court date during Friday’s hearing. 

Baltimore resident Karl Smith’s case was last discussed on July 21, when defense attorney Catherine Flynn said she was recently reassigned to the case and asked the prosecution to send her their discovery.

Smith, 26, is charged with five counts of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and firearm use in a violent crime for an incident on June 10, 2020.

He also faces charges of illegal possession of a regulated firearm, carrying a handgun on his person, discharging firearms, illegal possession of ammunition, having a handgun within 100 yards of a public place, malicious destruction of property with a value under $1000, and eight counts of reckless endangerment.

During Friday’s proceeding, the prosecutor said that Smith was offered a plea of “aggregate of 50 years” for first-degree murder and other charges that were not specified. The offer was neither accepted nor rejected, as Flynn and the state are still negotiating a new plea.

Judge Phinn said she was not going to schedule a trial date while Smith was not present, and instead, scheduled him to return to reception on Aug. 10.

Another case was also scheduled to return to reception court during Friday’s proceeding.

Prosecutors allege that Baltimore resident Lamont Dudley was the assailant in an incident that left a man with multiple gunshot wounds. According to the WMAR Baltimore, the shooting occurred around 10 p.m. on Jan. 19 on the 1000 block of S. Carey Street.

On July 14, the prosecution offered Dudley a plea of life, suspending all but 25 years, for attempted first-degree murder, and five years for firearm use in a violent crime, to run concurrently.

Lipman, Dudley’s defense attorney, said her client was still considering the offer. 

Dudley is also charged with first and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, carrying a handgun, possession of a loaded handgun on his person, discharging a firearm, and felon in possession of a firearm.

On Friday, Lipman said she was not prepared to set the trial date yet, having just received discovery from the prosecution.

Judge Phinn scheduled the case to come back to reception court on Sept. 2 to either accept the plea offer or schedule the case for trial. 

While Dudley’s case is set to return to reception in September, Baltimore resident Edward Jerod Smith’s case will go to trial that month.

Smith, 29, faces charges stemming from an incident on May 5, 2020.

When Smith last appeared in court on March 3, he declined to waive his rights to a speedy trial, according to the Maryland Judiciary website.

The prosecution offered Smith a plea of life, suspending all but five years, for attempted first-degree murder, with five years of supervised probation upon release. Under the plea, the court would also decide, during Smith’s sentence, whether to give him an additional five years for firearm use in a violent crime.

In addition to the offenses in the plea offer, Smith is charged with first and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, carrying a handgun, and having a loaded handgun in a vehicle.

On Friday, Smith’s defense attorney, Richard Arnold, rejected the plea offer on behalf of his client. 

Judge Phinn scheduled the trial, expected to take two days, for Sept. 30.