Shooting trial goes to the jury

City officer, teen-ager wounded by gunman

April 25, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

Hours before a jury began deliberating in the trial of Donnell A. Ward, who is accused of shooting a Baltimore police officer and a teen-ager on an East Baltimore street last year, the officer took the stand to identify Ward as the man who shot him.

Officer Willie D. Grandy was the last witness to testify in Ward's four-day trial, in which he is charged with more than a dozen crimes, including trying to kill Grandy, his partner Michael Coleman and the man they were arresting March 26, 2001.

The jury met for two hours yesterday and reached no verdict. It will resume deliberation this morning.

During the trial yesterday, Assistant State's Attorney James Wallner asked Grandy, "Do you see the person in this room who shot you?"

"Yes," replied Grandy, who still carries a bullet in his left leg from the shooting.

"Can you point to him?" Wallner asked.

Grandy pointed at Ward.

Ward, who had been taking notes, looked back at Grandy, holding his pen and his chin in his right hand.

Ward's lawyer, Brian G. Thompson, said during his closing argument that Grandy couldn't have identified the shooter because he didn't have an opportunity to get a good look at the gunman, who was standing 30 feet away and wearing a fur-lined hood on his head the day of the shooting, according to earlier testimony.

"You got, maybe, a one-second look at him, right?" Thompson asked during cross-examination.

"Right," Grandy answered.

The defense rested its case without calling witnesses.

In his closing argument, Thompson called the investigation "superficial" and said police did not investigate enough to prove his client is guilty. "This investigation was rushed to judgment," Thompson said. "They arrested my client with the flimsiest amount of evidence."

Thompson criticized police for not finding the gun used in the crime. He also said that police failed to test his client for gunshot residue and did not discover any fingerprints, and that the prosecution is relying on "incredible" witnesses to link Ward to the crime.

The state's case is based on Grandy's testimony, as well as other witnesses.

Roy Hopkins, the teen-ager who was shot as the officers arrested him on marijuana charges, originally identified Ward to police as the shooter, but changed his story on the witness stand this week.

Martin Spriggs, who is serving time in prison for several convictions and who told the court this week he couldn't remember why he was in prison, testified that he saw Ward shoot Grandy and Hopkins and then flee on foot.

In his closing argument, Wallner told the jury that Ward is clearly guilty because three witnesses identified Ward as the shooter, and that Officer Coleman corroborated their versions of what happened during the incident, though Coleman couldn't identify the gunman.

"Four separate witnesses in different locations told you the exact same thing," Wallner said.

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