In July of 2016, the victim was a traveling nurse working for Johns Hopkins Hospital for a few months, during which time she rented a row home on the 700 block of South Rose Street. Around 11:45 p.m. on July 25, 2016, the victim awoke to sounds of an intruder in her home. She opened her bedroom door and observed a male suspect wearing a mask coming up the stairs. The intruder stated, "What are you gonna do now, Bitch?" as he came towards the victim pointing a firearm. The victim closed and locked her bedroom door, but the suspect forced entry by kicking the victim’s bedroom door in, and forced the victim to the floor. The suspect placed his hand over the victim's mouth and threatened to kill her. The intruder then demanded money and drugs — allowing the victim to search for her purse.
The victim saw a brief opportunity to attempt to flee through the front door after the defendant forced her down the stairs. The suspect caught the victim and struck her over the head with his semi-automatic pistol before pushing past the victim and fleeing southbound on Rose Street. Due to the blow from the gun, the victim fell to the ground. The victim then got up and ran in the direction of Batten, screaming for help. The suspect turned and fired two shots towards the victim, striking the victim's dog who suffered a graze wound to the chest.
Earlier in the day on July 25, 2016, as the victim had just fallen to sleep after working the night shift as a nurse, the victim awoke to noises in her living room. The victim testified that a man and a woman claimed to have been sent by a mortgage company to perform renovation services on her home earlier in the day. They used a rear key box to enter the home. Before the victim could confirm the information they had given with the mortgage company, the couple had left the home. The victim relayed to police that she believed the man who shot at her was the same man who had been in her home earlier in the day, based on his physical characteristics, movements, voice, and his statements. During trial, the victim identified the defendant as the person who was in her home earlier that day, and who assaulted and shot at her later on that night.
Baltimore Police detectives investigated the subcontractors who the victim found in her home earlier in the day. Detectives developed a confidential informant within the company who provided all of the photos from the renovation project. The confidential informant also was able to identify Batten from the photos from his tattoos.
Investigation revealed that Batten’s wife owned a company that had been hired to do renovation work at a residence in the 700 block of South Rose Street. The confidential informant testified during the trial and identified the defendant in the renovation photographs.
Baltimore Police detectives with the assistance and support of Baltimore County police officers executed the arrest warrant at Batten’s Baltimore County home address. Batten fled from police in his work truck, tried to drive over an embankment, and bailed out of the car. After a foot chase, where Batten was running in the middle of the road against traffic, Batten was apprehended.
Officers recovered a loaded gun in Batten’s work truck that matched the cartridge casings from the home invasion. During trial, a ballistic expert testified that the gun found in the Batten's work truck was a ballistic match to the cartridge casings at the scene of the shooting and home invasion on July 25, 2016.
Detectives also recovered portions of the hand-made masks that matched the victim's description of that which the assailant wore during the invasion in Batten's car. Batten's DNA was found on these items.
Batten has an extensive criminal history including domestic abuse, assault in the first degree with a firearm, a felony drug conviction, and two prior handgun possession convictions.
Special Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division were also involved in the investigation into Batten’s criminal activities. Federal prosecutors also indicted Batten for being a felon in the possession of the firearm in Baltimore County — the same handgun that he used in the attempted murder of the victim. Batten is pending sentencing on the federal firearm charges.
“The defendant in this case is the definition of a violent repeat offender, and it was only a matter of time before someone ended up dead because of his violent nature so I am glad we were able to secure this conviction and lengthy sentence,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I can only pray that this long prison sentence will calm his thirst for violence.”