Jury to decide fate of teen charged in girl’s killing
Prosecutors told jurors Tuesday that a 15-year-old boy charged in the murder of a teenage girl in Northeast Baltimore last year was just as culpable as the two men who directed the plot and carried out the killing. “We don’t contend that, with his own bare hands, Raeshawn Rivers killed Arnesha Bowers,” Assistant State’s Attorney Sharon Holback said in closing arguments. “We do contend that because of everything he did … he is equally responsible.” Rivers’ defense attorney, Roya Hanna, countered that Rivers was “helpless” to intervene. “Mr. Rivers was 14. [Co- defendant] Adonay [Dixon] was 24,” Hanna said. “What was he to do? He was completely and utterly helpless.” Jurors will begin deliberating Monday, after being given a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will have to review complicated jury instructions dealing with the culpability of accomplices and what constitutes acting under duress. Circuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill dismissed rape and kidnapping charges against Rivers. Charges including first- degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, arson, robbery, false imprisonment and related counts remain. Prosecutors say Rivers was a willing participant in a plot to burglarize Bowers’ grandmother’s home that went awry when the girl discovered the crime in progress. Dixon and co-defendant John Childs have pleaded guilty in the case.
Annapolis ‘snake house’ case is settled
A settlement has been reached in the Annapolis “snake house” civil case. Barbara Johnson Palmer, an attorney for real estate agent Barbara Van Horn, confirmed Tuesday a confidential settlement had been reached. Jeffrey and Jody Brooks filed a $2 million lawsuit against Van Horn in May 2015, alleging the real estate agent had withheld her knowledge about an infestation of snakes inside the Broadneck Peninsula rancher. Van Horn, a Realtor for Annapolis-based Champion Realty, had denied through her attorneys having any prior knowledge of the snakes.