BALTIMORE -- Jurors acquitted a 16-year-old of first and second degree murder but found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Timothy Reynolds.
The teen was one of several squeegee workers Reynolds confronted with a bat near the Inner Harbor on July 7, 2022.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren reports he is still facing 35 years behind bars unless his attorneys can successfully petition for sentencing as a juvenile.
His lawyers argued he acted in self defense, while prosecutors said the victim was walking away when he was shot and the teenager covered his face when he retrieved a weapon from a backpack near Conway and Light Streets.
"This is clearly a heart-wrenching case on both sides and our condolences go out to the Reynolds family. There was tension and tears in the courtroom leading up to the verdict, but the family is thankful for the jury's close review," said Derede McAlpin, a spokesperson for the defendant's family.
Jurors believed the now 16-year-old defendant pulled the trigger and shot Timothy Reynolds but rejected that it was premeditated murder.
"The outcome of this case does not change the trauma that has been inflicted across the board by the events that took place in July of 2022," State's Attorney Ivan J. Bates wrote in a statement following the verdict. "A man will never return home to his family, and a young person now faces decades of incarceration. I thank my homicide division, Baltimore Police, and our Victim Witness Division for working together to see this difficult case through."
Reynolds' sister held up his picture and told WJZ they wanted the public to remember him.
"The person who was responsible for his murder has been convicted of killing him, and that brings a small measure of closure and justice to this family which is what they've always wanted," said Thiru Vignarajah, a private attorney who represents the Reynolds family.
WJZ is not naming the defendant because of his age.
In addition to voluntary manslaughter, he was found guilty of two firearms offenses—using a gun in a crime of violence and using a gun while under age 21.
The defense will file a general appeal in addition to requesting their client be sentenced as a juvenile.
"After he heard the verdict, I told him it's not too bad, we're able to put this case in juvenile court," defense attorney Warren Brown said he told his client.
He noted a decision will be up to Judge Jennifer Schiffer.
"We are elated that he was found not guilty of murder one or murder two," Brown said.
A sentencing date has yet to be set.
"There was a somewhat justifiable excuse for what he did, but it did not rise to the level of total, total exoneration, total self defense," Brown said.
Vignarajah told reporters, "There is time to make arguments to the judge about what an appropriate sentence is. He's a young man, he recovered a gun and shot him five times."
After an emotional trial and tense wait for the jury's decision, Reynolds family held hands and walked together away from the courthouse.
"You've got to respect the process. You've got to respect that the jury has reached a consensus that this is the man who killed him, and he's going to be held accountable,"
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