The trial of a man charged with murder in a shooting witnessed by an Annapolis police officer has been postponed to allow prosecutors to investigate new evidence that suggests he may be innocent.
Responding to the latest delay in the case, a judge ordered Angelo Corado Chambers released pending trial. But a detention center spokeswoman said Chambers was being held last night in lieu of $5,000 bond on an unrelated drug charge.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers refused to describe the newly uncovered information yesterday. During a hearing before Circuit Judge Raymond G.
Thieme, defense attorney Alan R. Friedman said only that the new evidence is "exculpatory" and had come to his attention over the weekend.
Friedman has accused Annapolis police of withholding information implicating another man known as "Jamaica D" in the Feb. 13 Clay Street shooting. Annapolis police have denied that allegation.
Chambers, 36, of Annapolis, had been scheduled to be tried Thursday for first-degree murder, but both sides agreed yesterday to postpone the trial to allow prosecutors to investigate the newly found evidence. Chambers has been held in lieu of bond since his arrest last February, but because of the latest trial postponement, Thieme ordered him released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.
The judge ordered Chambers, upon release, to report to pre-trial release supervisors and to undergo random urinalysis while awaiting trial. Friedman and Assistant State's Attorney William C. Mulford II said the trial could be delayed up to two months.
Chambers is charged in the shooting death of DeLloyd E. Harris Jr., 27, of St. Margarets. Harris had been shot once in the groin and twice in the side during a fight last Feb. 13 on Clay Street in Annapolis. Mulford has said Officer Karen Youssi of the Annapolis police was an eyewitness to the killing and picked Chambers out of a line-up and out of a photo array that also included Jamaica D.
During yesterday's hearing, Mulford said he remains confident in the veracity of the officer's identification. Afterward, he said the new evidence does not relate to the officer's identification of the gunman. "It deals with another area," he said, refusing to elaborate.
Police reports show Youssi was driving to back up another officer when she happened upon the crime scene at the intersection of Clay and West Washington streets at about 11 p.m.
But during a September hearing before Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams, Friedman said he had been told that as early as Feb. 16, Annapolis police had been told that Jamaica D shot Harris. Friedman said Jamaica D is the street name for Dexter Harvey Brown, who has since been locked up in Prince George's County on a warrant charging him with an unrelated murder.
In a written pleading, Friedman named five witnesses who implicated Brown between Feb. 16 and Feb. 26, but he complained that Annapolis police Detective Kenneth Custer did not initially investigate the allegations and, in fact, said he doubted such a person existed.
Annapolis police said they received information on Jamaica D on Feb. 14 and "vigorously pursued" the investigation until Brown provided facts consistent with Youssi's observations. Friedman said Brown told police Chambers was the gunman, but later told Custer a different story. Friedman has not elaborated on that point.
On the latest information, Friedman would only say, "A couple of things broke this weekend that we've been pursuing.
"This case has taken a lot of strange twists and turns."