Unavailability of Prosecution’s Witness Delays Attempted Murder Trial

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The unavailability of a prosecutor’s witness created a three-month postponement for the jury trial of attempted homicide defendant Roderick Johnson on March 20.

The 37-year-old defendant was scheduled to begin his trial on Monday before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lynn Stewart Mays. However, the prosecution told the court that a former Baltimore Police detective, who worked the case, had to have emergency dental surgery and would not be available.

Defense attorneys Benjamin Charlton and Judit Otvos opposed this postponement request. Charlton accused the detective of “not taking [the case] seriously” and reminded the court that Johnson had been incarcerated for the past 14 months.

The prosecutor also told Judge Mays that new evidence came to light early Monday morning in the form of text messages between the victim and the defendant where the latter allegedly threatened to kill her and sent her pictures of his weapons.

Judge Mays sent the case to reception court before Judge Melissa Phinn, who rescheduled the trial for June 27.

Johnson is charged with attempted first and second-degree murder as well as assault, reckless endangerment, and two weapons charges for allegedly shooting his wife during an argument on Nov. 4, 2021. The prosecutor said that the defendant shot his wife as she was running away and then stood over her and shot her multiple times once she was on the ground.

The defendant previously rejected a plea offer of life, suspending all but 20 years and five years probation for attempted first-degree murder.

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