For Immediate Release 9/13/2017
Southwest Baltimore— Carlton Beachum was convicted of the voluntary manslaughter of Sherman Smith. Additionally, a Baltimore City jury found the defendant guilty of attempted voluntary manslaughter, two counts of using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, possessing a firearm as a prohibited person, and second degree assault.
Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Stock of the Homicide Unit prosecuted the case.
On February 22, 2017 at approximately 8:00 p.m., police were called to the 500 block of Brunswick Street in Southwest Baltimore’s Millhill neighborhood. Once on the scene, police noticed Smith lying unresponsive in the alley with a revolver lying near his head. Another man was also discovered to be suffering from a gunshot wound across the street. When responding, officers asked Beachum who shot the victims; he confessed to the shooting and told the police his gun was inside of his apartment.
Police recovered a .40 caliber Glock 22 semi-automatic pistol.
Investigation revealed that a young woman, who was the upstairs tenant in Beachum’s building and Smith’s daughter, had been involved in an ongoing dispute with Beachum. The woman felt threatened and called her father to help with the situation. Her father, and the second victim—Joseph Sanders, who was Sherman Smith’s uncle—arrived at the location to confront Beachum.
Beachum opened the door and saw the two men. He then shut his door and retrieved his gun. The two victims left Beachum’s doorway and walked outside the apartment building. As the two men were walking away, Beachum shot one time through the glass of the front door of the building, then stepped outside and fired at least two more times—striking both victims and killing Smith.
“This is a terrible story that ended in fatal violence because two people could not settle their differences with words,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said. “We see far too many deaths in Baltimore that could have easily been prevented had both parties been able to deescalate the situation. The defendant will pay a heavy price for his poor choices that day.”
Beachum faces a maximum of 75 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6, 2017.