Without a Plea Offer, Judge Schedules Murder Trial

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On Feb. 1, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa K. Copeland scheduled a trial for an 18-year-old murder defendant in the absence of a viable plea offer.

Clifton Shields is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, firearm use in a felony violent crime, possession of a firearm as a minor, having a handgun on his person and in a vehicle in connection to the 2023 murder of 19-year-old Tavon Wilson, Jr

The prosecutor did not have an approved plea offer to extend to Shields during Thursday’s hearing. She also said there was an outstanding ballistics report she had yet to receive and turn over to defense attorney Judit Otvos

Otvos said she couldn’t have a “meaningful conversation” with her client about whether or not to go to trial without a plea offer from the prosecution. 

Judge Copeland scheduled a five-day trial to begin May 8 before Judge Robert K. Taylor, Jr

According to a Baltimore Police Department press release, officers found Wilson lying in the street on the 600 block of North Arlington Avenue on March 16, 2023. They arrested Shields five months later. 

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