Fingerprint evidence from a 2006 murder case will be admissible in federal court, a U.S. district judge in Baltimore ruled Tuesday, rejecting a decision by a Baltimore County judge that shocked prosecutors and set the defendant free.
Brian Keith Rose, 25, is accused of killing Warren Fleming, a Cingular store owner at Security Square Mall, while trying to steal his car. He was linked to the crime by partial prints left on the Mercedes and a stolen Dodge Intrepid that police say was used by Rose and his accomplices in the January 2006 incident.
But a jury never heard that evidence, because Baltimore County Circuit Judge Susan M. Souder excluded it. In a 32-page decision in 2007, Souder characterized such fingerprint evidence as too unreliable for use in a capital case. The decision caused an uproar in the legal community, which has long relied on such evidence.