Witness: Shooting was 'coldblooded'

February 05, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

Shree Harrell took the witness stand in Washington County Circuit Court Wednesday and told the jury that Karim Ali Ward shot her friend "coldblooded" on Jonathan Street more than a year ago.

Ward, 28, whose last address before his arrest was 1725 Springhouse Court, Frederick, Md., is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and several handgun charges in the Dec. 14, 2002, death of Carl Anthony Wallace, 28, of Asbury Park, N.J.

Harrell was scheduled to testify as a prosecution witness Monday, but failed to appear in court. A warrant that was issued for Harrell Monday after she did not show up was withdrawn, Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Charles Strong said. He said Harrell came to court Wednesday "of her own volition."


Harrell said she spent the entire night of Dec. 13 and morning of Dec. 14, 2002, with her friend Wallace, beginning with a movie, followed by a drink at a Jonathan Street bar, a trip to Venice Inn's nightclub and ending with a late meal at Denny's restaurant.

She said the two left Denny's and went to her Waynesboro, Pa., home at about 2 a.m. After she fell asleep, her sister, Asia Burns, phoned her.

"She was upset. She said she got jumped in a club and if you get jumped you go to the girl's house and you fight," Harrell, 25, testified. She said she and Wallace left immediately for the North Mulberry Street apartment in Hagerstown from which her sister had called.

Two witnesses to the shooting testified Monday that a man answered the door to 466 N. Jonathan St. when a woman started beating on the door with a stick, and Harrell concurred, identifying that man as Ward, whom she knew as "Rim."

She said it was Burns who beat on the door with a 2-by-4, calling for Takima White to come outside and fight.

White later testified that it was she who went to the door and that Ward was not at the apartment.

Harrell testified that Ward called on White to come outside for the fight. She said White went back into the house to retrieve an iron after she saw Burns had a stick.

After an argument over their weapons, Harrell testified, Burns and White dropped them and fought with their fists.

White testified, "When I went outside (Ward) was there with the other girls." She testified that she did not see Wallace.

White said that once Burns began banging her head on the curb she was "in and out" of consciousness and did not see anyone fire shots.

Harrell testified, however, that Ward wanted the women to break up the fight, so he "grabbed a gun out of his pants and shot it out in the air."

Wallace, whom Harrell called "C," told Ward to let the women fight. Ward asked Wallace who he was, and then shot him, Harrell testified.

Ward's defense attorney, John P. Corderman, asked Harrell on cross-examination if she saw Wallace grab for the gun that Hagerstown Police Department Officer Angela Poole testified she found in Wallace's pocket after arriving at the scene.

"(Wallace) never put his hand in his right front pocket. Rim shot him - coldblooded. He murdered him," Harrell responded.

Hagerstown Police Department Detective Steve Hoover testified that the gun found in Wallace's pocket did not have a bullet in the chamber.

Dr. Susan Hogan, an assistant state medical examiner, testified that Wallace died of gunshot wounds. She said he was shot six times, including three times in the back.

Hagerstown Police Department Detective Christopher Kayser testified that he met with Harrell on the afternoon of the shooting at Long Meadow Shopping Center's parking lot and the woman identified Ward from a photograph array.

The defense is to begin its case this morning.

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