Man, 25, guilty of murder in '05 shooting

State witness intimidation law was applied after Green urged friend not to testify

May 11, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter

LeShawn Green - accused of shooting up an East Baltimore pizza parlor and then encouraging a witness, his friend, not to testify - was convicted yesterday of first-degree murder.

A city jury also found Green, 25, guilty of three counts of first-degree assault, using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

On July 16, 2005, 16-year-old Jawan Lee was fatally shot and three other teen-agers were wounded inside a pizza restaurant in the 1300 block of Poplar Grove St. Green was arrested.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Maryland section gave the wrong location for a pizza parlor on Poplar Grove Street that was the site of a fatal shooting in July 2005. It is in West Baltimore.
The Sun regrets the error.

Green's conviction came in a case that had witness problems.

For just the second time in Baltimore since a state witness intimidation law went into effect, a judge ruled that prosecutors could play for the jury an audiotaped interview that witness Pharaoh Carr gave police a few weeks after the fatal shooting.

Carr said in that interview that Green had told him he committed the crime. But then Carr disappeared, ignoring six notices to come to court, avoiding investigators - even traveling to Ohio, where he was briefly detained on suspicion of a weapons violation.

Police recorded jailhouse conversations in which Green encouraged Carr, 22, to keep "duckin' and dodgin'," even advising him to avoid locations where the police could find him.

Carr's mother, Patricia Carr, said the police raided her house several times looking for Pharaoh Carr and that the family had no idea such lengths were taken to find a witness.

After Circuit Judge John C. Themelis allowed Carr's out-of-court statements into evidence, Patricia Carr contacted her son and brought him to court to testify.

Patricia Carr said Green is a longtime friend of the family and that they did not want the jury to think that Green had intimidated Carr. She also testified on Green's behalf, saying he was at her house the night of the shooting, attending a memorial for her son Eugene Carr, who had been fatally shot days earlier.

Green's sister, Bridget Lee, said yesterday that her brother is innocent. She also said her family is angry that the pizza parlor shooting has drawn so much attention while the shooting deaths of Eugene Carr and Brandon Lee, LeShawn and Bridget's brother, have gone unnoticed. Jawan Lee is not related to Bridget Lee or Brandon Lee.

"We feel sorry that this little boy [Jawan Lee] was killed," she said. "But what about our loss?"

When he took the stand, Pharaoh Carr told jurors he had lied to police. But prosecutors played the jailhouse conversations to the jury, in part to show he had a motive to lie on the stand and in part to show Green had a consciousness of guilt.

"Hopefully, the more we apply this [witness intimidation statute] and the more that judges order the statements to come in, the more we will see witnesses come into court," said State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy.

Green is scheduled to be sentenced in July.

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