Man convicted despite threat made to witness

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

Threatened by the defendant in a Baltimore murder case, authorities said, the female witness fled to New Jersey and then spent seven months in jail after prosecutors found her. Two other witnesses changed their stories when they testified.

Even so, a city jury convicted Kenneth Mahai yesterday of first-degree murder. Police said Mahai, 28, fatally stabbed Jermaine Morrison, 24, in a dispute over drug territory. The crime took place Oct. 25, 2005, near Holabird Industrial Park

Assistant State's Attorney Wesley Adams said that while in jail, Mahai called witness Sharon Mosley and told her she had better not come to court and that he did not make exceptions for women and children.

Mosley fled to New Jersey, where she disappeared for a time. She was arrested on a material witness warrant but disappeared again after persuading a judge to let her out of jail without bail.

With her missing and the trial clock ticking, Adams said he was forced to drop charges against Mahai in December.

He re-indicted Mahai when Mosley turned up about a month later. This time, she stayed in jail. She was released Thursday after being behind bars since January.

Baltimore Circuit Judge John C. Themelis is scheduled to sentnce Mahai next month.

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

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