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Shooting victim testifies during motions hearing

January 13, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

A man who was shot on June 24 on East Franklin Street in Hagerstown testified Monday in Washington County Circuit Court that he saw the man he believed was his assailant for one to two seconds before he turned to run and was shot in the arm and back.

The testimony from Kelvin Baker came during a motions hearing in the case of Marcus Jarod Chestnut, 19, whose last known address was 129 E. Franklin St.

A grand jury indicted Chestnut in September on three counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Baker and a woman. A third person was near Baker when he was shot, but was not struck.

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Chestnut's lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Eric Reed, requested the hearing in an attempt to have some evidence excluded from Chestnut's trial, which is scheduled for next week.

Baker, who said the bullet still was lodged near his spine, said he felt fairly certain that he correctly identified his shooter. However, he said, he was on morphine the day he made the identification.

Hagerstown Police Department Detective Shane Blankenship testified Monday that Baker appeared normal when he contacted him on June 26 at Washington County Hospital to make the identification, and Baker was taking visitors.

Reed said Tuesday that police officers illegally suggested that Chestnut was the shooter when they placed his picture in a six-picture photo array shown to Baker two days after he was shot.

Reed argued the array was illegal because it did not include photos of a man and a teenager Chestnut allegedly was with on the night of the shooting.

Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone denied the motion, but said Reed gained information that might be useful.

"Certainly, you've got a lot of ammunition to challenge that identification at trial," Boone said.

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