For Immediate Release 10/31/2017
Northeast Baltimore — Rodney Baxter pled guilty to assault in the first degree and using a handgun in a crime of violence. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison— suspend all but 20 years, the first five years to be served without parole. Assistant State’s Attorney Natalie Hynum of the Gun Violence Enforcement Division (GVED) prosecuted the case.
On or about January 10, 2017 officers responded to the 2500 block of Hamilton Avenue for a shooting. The victim was traveling from work with his coworker and one of his roommates. His roommate was traveling in a separate vehicle.
As the victim was driving around Hamilton Avenue he was struck by Baxter. Baxter drove off after hitting the victim, but later crashed further up the road — disabling the vehicle.
The victim got out of his car, and walked towards where he heard the crash. As the victim approached he asked Baxter for his vehicle and license information. Baxter didn’t respond to the victim. Instead, he got out of the driver’s seat with a gun and pointed it towards the victim.
The victim realized it was a gun and started to turn. Baxter shot the victim, striking him in the buttocks area. Baxter then fled the scene on foot.
The victim ran back to his car. Police were on scene shortly thereafter because the victim’s friend had called the police following the hit and run accident. The victim was later shown a photo array and identified Baxter as the person who shot him.
Baxter waived his Miranda rights and gave a recorded taped statement where he stated he was in jail all day during the shooting, but the detective said he had paperwork that he was released from jail at 5:00 a.m. on the day of the shooting. Baxter provided police with multiple alibies inconsistent with the facts of the case. Further, the defendant’s girlfriend was interviewed and she told detectives that the Defendant had custody of her car during the shooting, the same car that hit the victim.
“A simple traffic accident should never end in gun violence, said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute Individuals that so recklessly turn to violence with a total disregard for human life, holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”