Jury weighs case against city teen

Shooting witness testifies about attempt on her life

January 18, 2003|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF

Prosecutors urged a Baltimore Circuit Court jury yesterday to reward the "courage" of a 16-year-old girl by convicting the city teen who she said robbed her, held a gun to her head and pulled the trigger four times. The gun failed to discharge.

Tyrone Beane, 18, who is also accused of killing a man after cutting off a monitoring device while on home detention, faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder in a shooting Nov. 5, 2001, in East Baltimore.

Prosecutors said in closing arguments yesterday that Beane shot a man in the groin in a street fight, then attempted to kill the girl, who was walking with children nearby, to prevent her from going to police. The gun did not discharge because it jammed, prosecutors said.

The jury deliberated for two hours without reaching a verdict and is expected to resume on Tuesday.

"He [Beane] did not count on the fact that she would display the courage to talk to you," said Assistant State's Attorney Greg Hopper, one of two prosecutors in the case. "She was simply an innocent bystander. What is she doing? Seeking justice."

On Thursday, the girl testified that she and five children were walking out of a recreation center in the 1300 block of Monument St. when she heard two gunshots and saw three men, including Beane, standing over an injured man lying in a schoolyard across the street. She said that moments later, Beane approached her, held a gun to her head and told her to empty her pockets.

Another man then yelled to Beane, "If you are going to shoot her, then shoot her," she said. When Beane tried to shoot her and the gun failed to discharge, Beane punched her in the chest, she said.

Prosecutors said that the man who was shot was too frightened to testify. A police detective testified yesterday that the girl identified Beane as the gunman out of a photo lineup in April last year.

But Beane's attorney, Charles H. Dorsey, said the girl has given conflicting descriptions of her assailant's skin tone and hair style. He added that police found no evidence at the scene.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this is the wrong man," said Dorsey, an assistant public defender.

Beane, of the 700 block of Wharton Court, is also charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Taharka McCoy in January last year. Beane's murder trial was postponed to March 6.

Beane also faces assault and drug possession charges filed in November 2000.

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