Man's efforts as own counsel slow Arundel murder trial

Testimony problems and conferences abound

April 19, 2001|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

Objections and conferences with the judge punctuated the murder trial yesterday of a Glen Burnie man who was representing himself, and muddling his way through courtroom procedure.

Gerald Carvell Wallace, 23, of the first block of Phyllis Drive is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting in October of Jerome Isaiah Johnson, 18, of Columbia. His body was found at the end of Huff Road in Pasadena's Freetown community.

Closing arguments are scheduled for today. The state is seeking a sentence of life in prison without parole. Another defendant, Keith Lamont Mallett, 20, of Glen Burnie is scheduled for trial in September.

The state maintains that two men tried to rob Johnson. The state contends that Wallace drew a gun and held it to Johnson's head while Mallett went through the victim's pockets. Prosecutors said that Wallace hit Johnson in the head with the gun, and the weapon discharged, fatally wounding Johnson in the shoulder area.

Wallace called six people to the stand yesterday. Most continued their answers to questions after the judge had sustained objections by Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Rogers, and some inappropriately tried to ask questions of the prosecutor. One of them, Julia Thomas, a Freetown resident, testified she heard a gunshot that night and saw a man running through her back yard.

Wallace called the state's eyewitness, Annapolis resident George Scott, to the stand. Scott expressed annoyance that Wallace continued to ask him the same questions.

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