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Shooting trial to go on as planned

November 26, 1997

Shooting trial to go on as planned

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A Washington County Circuit Court judge Tuesday denied a prosecution motion to postpone the Dec. 3 trials of three men charged in a May 20 shooting at the Motel 6 near Valley Mall.

"I understand this is a serious case but I'm not persuaded to go beyond the 180 days," said Judge Kennedy Boone.

In order to ensure that defendants are given constitutionally speedy trials, criminal cases must be heard within 180 days in Maryland.

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Shacore Little, 20, of 55 S. Potomac St.; Reshen Bathers, 18, of 138 W. North St.; and James Smalls, 20, of 126 High St., are each charged with attempted second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, attempted armed robbery and use of a handgun in commission of a crime, according to court records.

A fourth defendant, Mandy Louise Nunemaker, 20, of 55 S. Potomac St., is scheduled to stand trial on the same charges on Dec. 15.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Joe Michael sought the postponement Tuesday, telling Boone that two witnesses, a gun expert and a fingerprint expert wouldn't be available on Dec. 3.

Defense attorneys for the three men argued against the prosecution's motion to postpone the case.

"They've been in jail for six months, awaiting trial on these charges," said Mary Riley, attorney for Bathers.

Darah Kehnemuyi, attorney for Smalls, told Boone that his client wouldn't need testimony from either expert.

"There was no gun in his hands and no fingerprints of his in the room," Kehnemuyi said, questioning the delay.

Boone's ruling means the three men will stand trial as scheduled on Dec. 3. A hearing on defense motions to suppress a jailhouse identification of the defendants also will be heard that day, before the trial begins.

The victim in the shooting, Steven McCormick, 31, of Crisfield, Md., was shot in the upper chest. He was hospitalized from May 21 to 30 at Washington County Hospital.

After the shooting, Washington County sheriff's deputies, Maryland State Police, Hagerstown City Police and a state police helicopter searched for two black men and a white woman in a rented blue Ford Taurus, said Detective Roy Harsh of the sheriff's department.

The Taurus was found abandoned in Maugansville the day after the shooting.

Arrests were made in Frederick, Md., two days after the shooting.

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