Sitting in a parking lot at his post at the time in Curtis Bay on Dec. 16, 2021, Baltimore Police Sgt. Dominic Crawford noticed a call for service about a crash pop up on the computer inside his patrol car.

Crawford told the dispatcher that he’d check it out. He said he spotted a broken fence and a patrol car in the park and went up to the driver’s door. That’s when he said he saw Officer Keona Holley, whom he had trained, unconscious.

Next, Crawford said, he pulled Holley out of the car and started to render first aid. Meanwhile, a man who happened to be on the scene offered her words of encouragement, which could be heard on body-camera video.

“Come on baby, you hang in there!” he said. “Come on, come on, come on. Squeeze my hand!”

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Holley, a two-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, had been shot multiple times — including twice in the head — and died one week later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She was 39.

Read previous coverage of the deadly shootings of Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley, Justin Johnson

Crawford testified on Tuesday in Baltimore Circuit Court as the state began presenting its case against Elliot Knox, 34, of Mount Holly. Knox is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and related offenses.

Prosecutors allege that Knox fatally shot Holley at about 1:30 a.m. while she was in her patrol car on Pennington Avenue near Hazel Street in Curtis Bay and then took part in the killing of another man, Justin Johnson, at approximately 3 a.m. on Lucia Avenue near Airy Hill Avenue in Yale Heights.

“Two executions,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kurt Bjorklund said in his opening statement. “Ninety minutes apart.”

Knox, he said, gave a statement to homicide detectives that contained hours of deception and lying. But Knox eventually confessed that he and another man, Travon Shaw, were responsible for both killings, Bjorklund said.

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Besides the statement, Bjorklund said, the state will present other material including license plate reader evidence, cell site location information and DNA.

Bjorklund said the evidence lends itself to Knox being the man who fatally shot Holley. Meanwhile, Knox and Shaw, he said, both fired at Johnson, 38, while he was inside his 1997 Lincoln Town Car, noting that investigators recovered cartridge casings that were two different calibers at the crime scene.

Shaw, 34, of Catonsville, was found guilty in 2023 of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and related crimes in Johnson’s killing. He’s scheduled to appear in court on March 28.

“Be patient. Listen. Accept the evidence,” Bjorklund said. “You need to hold him accountable for being part of a tandem that executed a police officer and a citizen of this city when they were in their cars.”

But Natalie Finegar, Knox’s attorney, said the state has the burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and declared that it will not come anywhere close to meeting that standard.

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Finegar said her client initially lied but eventually told the truth during the interrogation. Knox, she said, only admitted to being an accessory after the fact to murder for getting rid of two guns that he was not legally allowed to possess.

“He did not murder Mr. Johnson,” Finegar said in her opening statement. “He did not murder Officer Holley.”

Bjorklund called seven witnesses and started playing video of the interrogation to the jury. Circuit Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer dismissed the panel before 4:30 p.m. and said that the case will resume on Wednesday.

Earlier in the trial, Sgt. Shannon Cavey testified that he and other members of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force stopped a car at the request of homicide detectives on the day of the fatal shootings before noon on West 25th Street near Charles Street on the border of Old Goucher and Charles Village.

Knox, he said, was driving the vehicle. Police took him to the homicide unit for questioning, Cavey testified.

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Meanwhile, Detective John Amato testified that he took part in the execution of two search and seizure warrants.

Amato said he found a Glock 22 and an Extar EXP-556 inside two different backpacks at a home in Windsor Mill, along with other items including two 30-round magazines that were duct-taped together. Law enforcement, he said, located evidence including ammunition, weapon cleaning kits and business cards for firearms training at a house in Yale Heights.

Later, Detective David Moynihan testified that he was one of two investigators who interviewed Knox at the homicide unit.

Police told Knox that a license plate reader picked up his car in the immediate vicinity where Holley was shot and that investigators obtained surveillance video of the crime.

Knox denied knowledge and involvement in the homicides. He kept asking detectives questions and gave vague information about his whereabouts that morning. At one point, he said, he was “house hopping.”

“You know the deal. And you know the game,” Moynihan told Knox. “We’ll continue to do our job.”