The 15-year-old squeegee worker charged with first-degree murder for shooting a bat-wielding motorist was ordered held without bond Friday, as his defense attorneys argued he acted in self-defense and should not be prosecuted as an adult.
Defense attorneys J. Wyndal Gordon and Warren Brown said the boy, who was arrested Thursday morning in the July 7 downtown shooting of 48-year-old Timothy Reynolds, has no history with police and did squeegee work and sold cold water to make as much as $200 a day.
“Instead of mowing lawns or tossing newspapers, he’s out there squeegeeing and selling bottles of water,” Brown said at a news conference. “He is out of place where he is being detained, and he’s frightened.”
The boy’s father, Tavon Scott Sr., spoke briefly: “For a grown man to come at a child with a baseball bat — they’re children. He’s not a squeegee kid. He’s a child, with feelings. That’s my child.”
The Banner is not identifying the teen. Under state law, the case is sealed pending a waiver hearing on whether the case should be adjudicated in the juvenile court system, which would permanently seal the case and the boy’s identity.
The attorneys would not confirm their client committed the shooting or that he had a gun, but said that Reynolds was the aggressor and the circumstances did not merit such harsh charges against a young teenager. A student at Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore, the boy was 14 years old at the time of the shooting, and under state law, anyone 14 years or older charged with first-degree murder starts in the adult court system.
“It’s disingenuous, frankly, for the state to continue with first-degree murder charges under these circumstances,” Brown said. “It ought to be in juvenile court right now.”
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby did not respond to requests for comment and a spokeswoman said the office would not comment on the case.
The organizer of an online fundraiser for the Reynolds family said Thursday that the family declined to comment on the arrest.
Police have said Reynolds had “some type of interaction” with squeegee workers at the intersection of Light and Conway streets near the Inner Harbor. Next, Reynolds drove through the intersection, parked his vehicle and walked across eight lanes of traffic while carrying a baseball bat, according to eyewitness accounts and preliminary statements from police.
The Baltimore Banner later obtained a 45-second dashcam video of the shooting. The footage, which does not show the initial encounter or Reynolds’ approach, begins when Reynolds is walking away from the intersection. He’s pointing the bat at three squeegee workers, who are following from approximately 20 feet away.
Reynolds walks in front of a car and disappears from view. A description of the video in a police report indicates that’s when the individuals “seemingly surround him.”
Later, Reynolds swings the bat while running toward the youth. One appears to hit Reynolds in the head while he has the bat raised toward a different squeegee worker.
That’s when that squeegee worker starts firing when running away.
Charging documents obtained by The Baltimore Banner provide the police account of the deadly encounter.
“Video evidence shows the victim walking away from the suspect group with a baseball bat in his band. Three members of the group follow the victim as he is walking east on E. Conway St. into the intersection with Light St and seemingly surround him. A physical altercation takes place and one of the suspects seemingly throws an object at the victim, striking him in the head, after the victim swings the bat at one of the suspects. Mr. Reynolds stumbles after being hit in the head with the object and appears to become disoriented. At that time, one of the suspects wearing a pink T-shirt, a black mask covering his face, dark pants with a white stripe on the lower portion of the leg, and gray tennis shoes shoots the victim while he simultaneously begins running westbound.”
In explaining her decision to deny bail, Baltimore District Judge Theresa Morse noted the charging documents state Reynolds was walking away. She said she found the boy to pose a danger to the community. In addition to first-degree murder, he faces seven other charges including gun charges and assault.
There is no circumstance under Maryland law where a 14- or 15-year-old is permitted to carry a handgun.
Under Maryland law, someone must make a reasonable effort to retreat before responding with deadly force to an aggressor. The person must also have a reasonable belief that the aggressor poses a deadly threat.
“We definitely feel at least one of both of those defenses apply to this case,” Gordon said during a news conference Friday. “This was a case of perfect self-defense.”
He later told the judge the teenager was backing up when Reynolds advanced, but there was a curb behind him and the boy worried about falling down.
“Where the chips fall, we don’t know, but we have extreme confidence about what we can do once we get an opportunity to present our side of the story,” Gordon said.
The boy’s father also said Reynolds was “wrong,” and that people would look at the situation differently if a Black man had confronted white children with a bat.
Brown said the boy made $200 on a good day and $90 on a bad day selling waters and cleaning windshields and that he would give money to his three younger siblings.
Reynolds was an engineer and father of three who lived in Hampden. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $50,000.
“It’s a sad situation for everybody,” Brown said.
- Squeegee worker, 15, arrested and charged as an adult in fatal shooting of bat-wielding motorist
- Dashcam video shows final seconds of Timothy Reynolds’ fatal encounter with squeegee workers, but questions remain
- Man with bat fatally shot after confronting squeegee workers in downtown Baltimore identified as Timothy Reynolds
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