Judge allows one photo in murder trial Others of victim's body might inflame the jury, she says

'Pictures are gruesome'

Annapolis man, 20, is charged in slaying of Florida woman

December 24, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A prosecutor may use only one photograph of Katherine Elizabeth Brodie's body next month when he tries to convince a jury that an Annapolis man stabbed her to death last December, an Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday.

Judge Pamela L. North ruled that using more than one photograph of Brodie's body lying in woods behind the Giant supermarket on Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis, where it was found by police about two months after the slaying, could inflame the jury.

Mickeen Michael Holland, 19, of the 2000 block of Bay Ridge Ave. is charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 6 slaying of Brodie, 34, of Miami Beach, Fla., who had been staying with a friend in Annapolis.

Frank Ragione said Holland and Tremayne Deon Howard of the 7400 block of Edgewood Road in Annapolis met Brodie near the supermarket, then walked to nearby woods, possibly to have sex.

But Holland and Howard became angry at Brodie and began beating her, he said.

Howard pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to second-degree murder in the slaying.

He is to be sentenced Jan. 22.

Ragione said Howard kicked Brodie in the face before he went to the edge of the woods near the 7400 block of Edgewood Road to act as a lookout while Holland stabbed her.

Brodie's body was found Feb. 12 by children playing, police said.

Holland's lawyer, John H. Robinson III, argued yesterday that showing crime scene photographs of Brodie's decomposed body would not connect Holland to the slaying, but would inflame jurors.

"These pictures are gruesome, they're just gruesome photographs," Robinson said.

But Ragione said Howard, who is expected to testify against Brodie, would tell jurors that Brodie was hit with a log during the slaying. He said crime scene photographs corroborate that testimony by showing a log near the body.

"It serves the purpose of corroborating the testimony of a state's witness," Ragione said.

He said he will recommend that Howard be given a 15-year sentence and that five of the 15 years be suspended in exchange for his testimony against Holland.

North said after reviewing the photos that she would allow jurors to see only the one that shows the log in the foreground and the body in the background.

Robinson also asked that autopsy photographs be ruled inadmissible, that Ragione turn over arrest reports of five prosecution witnesses and that he provide details of reward offers by county police before Holland's arrest.

North ordered Ragione to turn over the arrest reports, and Ragione agreed to provide any police offers for a reward.

But the judge deferred a ruling on the admissibility of the autopsy photographs until she had read the autopsy report.

The trial tentatively is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Robinson asked yesterday that the trial be postponed, saying that he would need more time to check information in the arrest reports.

North said she would rule on that request in the next few days.

Pub Date: 12/24/96

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.