Trial Date Set for Man Accused of Shooting Police Officer Last Year

Baltimore Courthouse

A 32-year-old man accused of shooting a Baltimore Police officer in June 2020 received his trial date at the Baltimore City Circuit Court on July 9. 

The hearing took place before Judge Melissa K. Copeland, who also presided over a homicide case and another non-fatal shooting case.

Baltimore resident Christopher Earl is allegedly involved in a shooting at around 3 a.m. on June 14, 2020, that left one officer wounded. 

According to CBS Baltimore, officers were responding to a complaint about a large party on the 2300 block of Winchester Street when they saw a vehicle with a damaged tire speeding into a parking lot. 

Two officers then approached the driver and restrained him after seeing that he was armed. A struggle ensued, which caused a gun to fire and shoot one of the officers in the torso.

Earl is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, carrying a handgun, and possession of a firearm within 100 yards of a school. He also faces three counts of first and second-degree assault and firearm use in a violent crime.

The hearing on Friday revealed new details about the incident. The prosecution said they were waiting for a report from a forensic psychologist that would shed light on Earl’s state of mind during the shooting. The prosecutor noted that the incident involved the “use of a lot of alcohol.” 

Although the report has not been submitted, Earl was offered a plea deal of life, suspending all but 30 years, for attempted first-degree murder.

Earl’s defense attorney, John Cox, rejected the deal, calling it “unacceptable.” However, both parties indicated that an agreement will likely be reached.

The case was then transferred to Judge Melissa M. Phinn, who scheduled a tentative hearing for Sept. 10.

Judge Copeland also transferred the murder case of Baltimore resident Ronald Brady, Jr., to Judge Phinn.

According to CBS Baltimore, Brady, 47, allegedly fatally shot 44-year-old Desmond Scroggins in the head on the 1200 block of E. Lafayette Street on Sept. 9, 2019.

Brady was offered a plea deal of life, which defense attorney Tony Garcia rejected.

Brady is charged with first-degree murder, firearm use in a violent crime, carrying a handgun, and illegal possession of a firearm. He also faces three counts of a felon in possession of a firearm.

The trial is scheduled for Oct. 5, with jury selection set to begin four days before.

Brady was previously convicted of murder in connection to a 1992 double homicide. He spent 19 years in prison, but was arrested again shortly after his release for violating his probation, according to Fox 45 News. Brady then served six years of a 12-year sentence.

A plea deal was also offered to another defendant who has been incarcerated for more than a year.

Baltimore resident Melvin Tucker is the suspect in a non-fatal shooting that occurred on Dec. 15, 2019.

On Friday, the prosecution offered Tucker 25 years, suspending all but eight years, for attempted second-degree murder; five years without the possibility of parole for using a firearm in a violent crime; and three years of incarceration, with two years of supervised probation upon release, for reckless endangerment.

Defense attorney Robert Cole said he has not relayed the offer to Tucker, who has been waiting for a trial date since Jan. 22, 2020.

Tucker is also charged with another count of attempted second-degree murder, as well as one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first and second-degree assault, and eight other firearm-related offenses.

The case is scheduled to return to reception court on July 26.