Vehicle Links Defendant to Murder, Prosecutor Tells Jury

Baltimore Courthouse

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

Donate Now

A red Toyota Solara will play a hefty role in the case against homicide defendant Kamren Cannady, who a prosecutor said was the man behind the trigger in a shooting that killed James Byrd in October 2021.

Cannady, 22, is facing two counts of first-degree murder and two weapons charges in connection to the incident that occurred just before 4:30 p.m. on the 300 block of S. Fulton Avenue on Oct. 24, 2021—a shooting that would be heavily discussed during his trial, which began on Jan. 10.

With Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Myshala Middleton presiding, the prosecution stood before the 12-person jury and explained that the alleged shooter’s vehicle was identified via Baltimore City video surveillance cameras and a license plate reader camera at the time of the shooting.

In her opening statements, the prosecutor said that Byrd and two women were inside a red Toyota Solara that was seen stopping next to Byrd, who was standing on a sidewalk. After a brief conversation, the trio drove around the block and circled back to the victim, who was now on the other side of the street. The vehicle, once again, pulled up to Byrd when the passenger got out and shot him.

The prosecutor noted that a license plate reader camera also picked up the vehicle’s plates in the area around 2 p.m. the day after the shooting. Baltimore Police later found the vehicle at a Walgreens at 4025 W. Northern Parkway, where two of the three suspects were taken to a homicide unit for questioning.

Further investigation revealed that the Toyota Solara belonged to Cannady’s girlfriend—who was one of the two women in the vehicle—and that he used the vehicle between 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on the day Byrd was killed.

Defense attorney Robert Cole countered that Cannady not only did not know the victim but that his client was driving the suspect who had “an ongoing conflict with Byrd.” Cole did not reveal the identity of this alleged shooter during his opening statements.

“This was not something that Mr. Cannady was involved in planning,” said Cole, who described the defendant as “the trigger man.”

“What you’re doing here is making the most important decision in Mr. Cannady’s life,” he concluded.

Testimony continued Tuesday afternoon and was expected to resume on Jan. 11.

Follow this case