Conviction overturned in 2006 Randallstown slaying

Baltimore County prosecutors to decide whether to retry Thomas Harris

September 27, 2012|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

The state's highest court has overturned the second-degree murder conviction of Thomas B. Harris, convicted of fatally stabbing Karim Cross in a Randallstown bar in 2006, and ordered a new trial.

The Court of Appeals agreed with a decision by the lower appeals court. Harris was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said prosecutors would make a decision on "whether we can go forward" with retrying Harris, as they would have to find witnesses from six years ago.

The court agreed with the lower appeals court ruling that the trial judge should have declared a mistrial. He did not tell the lawyers about a conversation his secretary had during the lunch recess with a juror. She told the juror his grandmother had died and asked the juror if he was able to deliberate. The juror told the secretary yes. But he later sent a note to the court that said he'd like to be excused if possible. By then, the alternates were dismissed. A defense request for a mistrial was denied.

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