Rodney Grinage : Defense Claims Shooting Was Unintentional: Murder Case Analysis

By | February 28, 2024

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On the 28th of February, legal representatives delivered their opening statements before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Dana M. Middleton in the trial of 22-year-old Stephawn Tate.

Details of the Incident

Tate stands accused of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Rodney Grinage on November 13, 2020. Additionally, he faces charges of firearm use in a felony violent crime, firearm possession with a felony conviction, possessing a firearm as a minor, and carrying a handgun on his person.

Prosecution’s Allegations

The prosecution described the shooting as “brazen, deliberate, and in broad daylight.” Video footage from multiple cameras on the 1600 block of West North Avenue captured the incident. The footage reportedly showed Tate engaging in a scuffle with Grinage before fleeing the scene. An officer from the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) nearby heard the gunshots and responded promptly.

Defense’s Claims

Tate’s defence attorneys, Benjamin Charlton and Todd Oppenheim, acknowledged that Tate was the shooter but argued that the shooting was not premeditated. They claimed that Tate was in the area to buy Percocet to address an opioid addiction resulting from a gunshot wound sustained four years earlier, not to harm the victim.

Identification and Arrest

Tate was allegedly identified as the suspect in the surveillance footage by a BPD officer. A “wanted” flier with images extracted from CCTV footage was circulated within the department, leading to Tate’s recognition based on prior interactions with the officer.

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