Associated Press: BALTIMORE — Baltimore’s new top prosecutor dropped all charges Friday against a black man who stood trial four times for the same killing, freeing him from behind bars and ending a controversial case that repeatedly raised questions about police and prosecutorial conduct.
Keith Davis Jr was accused of fatally shooting Pimlico Race Course security guard Kevin Jones in 2015 after police claimed his gun matched casings from the shooting scene.
Before arresting Davis, officers shot him multiple times, leaving him badly wounded. He survived and has maintained his innocence ever since.
Newly elected Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates, who took office January 3, announced Friday that charges were being dropped.
“Today’s dismissal is about the prosecutorial missteps of my predecessor in her pursuit of a conviction at all costs,” Bates said in a news release.
“I have a duty to ensure justice for all, not just the victim but also the accused.”
Bates had pledged on the campaign trail to reconsider the case, which his predecessor Marilyn Mosby repeatedly brought to trial. Mosby was defeated in a Democratic primary last year while facing federal perjury charges.
When contacted Friday, Mosby told The Associated Press the case “has always been about the pursuit of justice for Kevin Jones and his family.” She declined to comment further.
Jones’ grandmother, Earlene Neals, said she felt blindsided and heartbroken by the news.
“Our family is destroyed,” she told AP by phone. “Kevin is getting no justice whatsoever — none.”
Top Feature Photo: In this image provided by the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Keith Davis Jr, 31, smiles in a vehicle following his release from prison Friday, January 13, 2023, in Baltimore, after prosecutors dropped all charges against him. Davis was tried for the same murder four times and was awaiting a potential fifth trial when newly elected State’s Attorney Ivan Bates announced his decision to dismiss the case – Deborah Katz Levi/Maryland Office of the Public Defender via AP