Last month, we looked at the story of 48-year-old Timothy Reynolds of Baltimore. He was murdered during a violent confrontation with some of the city’s infamous “squeegee kids” who attempted to extort money from him at an intersection in the downtown portion of the city. An unnamed 15-year-old was charged with the killing after a brief investigation. The case immediately took some strange turns, with the State Prosecutor’s office seemingly trying to sweep the matter away by offering the alleged shooter a plea deal. (The boy’s attorneys rejected the offer.) After that, the next sticking point was the question of whether or not the boy’s case would be transferred to juvenile court, where he would likely not be hit with any prison time. I expressed my doubts that he would be tried as an adult, but Charm City has succeeded in surprising me. A judge in Baltimore ruled on Thursday that the case will remain in the adult court system and the boy is being charged with first-degree murder. (WBAL TV)
A Baltimore judge on Thursday ruled that the case of a teenage squeegee worker accused of fatally shooting a man will remain in the adult court system.
Supporters of the teenager and the family of the shooting victim, Timothy Reynolds, confirmed the update outside the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center.
There was strong reaction from both sides. The defendant’s family left the courthouse in tears. The victim’s family declared the evidence pushed the case in the right direction.
Reynolds’s sister praised the decision by the court. She insisted that her family is “not celebrating” and there “are no winners” in this situation. But she also said that the wheels of justice are “slowly turning in the right direction.”
More information about the original crime came to light during the most recent hearing. We originally didn’t know precisely how much evidence the prosecution had or if they could make the charge stick. But while it hasn’t been released to the public for obvious reasons, we now know that the judge reviewed multiple sources of footage of the shooting, including dashcam video and CCTV security camera footage. The videos were described as showing “intent rather than an act of self-defense.”
Demonstrating intent rather than self-defense will be important, particularly since they are charging the boy with first-degree murder. After the extortioners began trying to vandalize Reynolds’ car, he reportedly pulled over and came back to confront them with a baseball bat. If he had struck the boy with the bat first, there might have been a valid self-defense case on the table, but it sounds like that’s not how it played out.
Sadly, none of these developments do much to address the underlying problem. The so-called “squeegee kids” have been a plague on the city for years. The city’s mayor has been under a lot of pressure to do something, but the plan he’s come up with has been widely ridiculed. He’s looking to use taxpayer dollars to pay some of the squeegee “workers” to stay off the corners and not commit crimes. And he’s asking the others to remain on designated “squeegee corners” and police their own activities. It doesn’t sound like either of those ideas would have saved Timothy Reynolds’ life even if they had been in place on the day he died.