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Ruling expected in whether Baltimore men had gang ties

A 31-one year-old man and his 20-year-old accomplice made their first appearance in court for a pretrial hearing on Friday. The two face charges of first-degree murder for their alleged part in the killing of a 12-year-old East Baltimore student.

The charges against the pair stem from a 2011 incident in which the two men reportedly came to the neighborhood where the boy lived while searching for a man that they believed was responsible for the shooting of a Black Guerrilla Family gang member.

According to prosecutors, once the two men realized that they were unable to find the man they were seeking, they then allegedly began shooting a random group of people in the neighborhood who were sitting on a porch watching an NBA basketball game on a television placed in a window. As the group began to flee, the boy received two gun wounds to the head and was also shot in the neck and leg. The boy was later transported to John Hopkins Children's Center, but succumbed to his injuries two days later.

Meanwhile, attorneys for the two men have argued that the alleged shooting was not connected to the Black Guerrilla Family and have placed an argument before the judge that this alleged evidence could taint the jury pool, since Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts had spoken publicly about the gang last fall when police staged a series of raids meant to put an end to the Black Guerrilla Family's alleged criminal operations. A ruling on the admissibility of the evidence is expected some time this week.

A first-degree murder charge is a serious offense that could carry stiff penalties for a defendant if he or she is convicted. An experienced Maryland attorney could help to ensure that the defendant is treated fairly throughout the legal process.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Killing of 12-year-old was BGF-related, prosecutors say" Alison Knezevich, Feb. 30, 2014

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