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The Frederick News-Post Online – Shooting suspect testifies. Moore denies holding gun, making threats

July 20, 2011

Originally published July 15, 2011   By Kate Leckie, News-Post Staff

A 27-year-old Woodbine man on trial in the attempted murder of two men, including a Frederick police officer, denied even holding a gun on May 20, 2005, in a parking lot outside Country Hill Apartments.

On Thursday, the third day of his trial in Frederick County Circuit Court, Charles F. Moore Jr. testified he did not threaten Romell Allen, a Virginia man he is accused of shooting three times. He said he didn’t even argue with him.

Furthermore, Moore said he never heard Frederick police Sgt. Wayne Trapp tell him to freeze or to drop a weapon.

“Sgt. Trapp is mistaken?” Assistant State’s Attorney Jason S. Shoemaker asked the defendant during cross-examination.

“Yes,” Moore replied.

“Michelle Atwood is incorrect (about what she saw when she stepped out on her balcony)?” Shoemaker asked. Atwood testified Wednesday she saw a man in a jersey point a gun at a police officer and fire.

“She didn’t see me do anything,” Moore said.

Defense attorney Richard P. Sobiecki called six witnesses Thursday and closed out the defense case with Moore, on trial for the second time. The first trial concluded Jan. 5, 2006, with guilty verdicts against Moore on numerous charges, including attempted first-degree murder in the attacks on Trapp and Allen.

On July 26, 2006, Circuit Judge Julie Stevenson Solt sentenced Moore, then 22, to life in prison plus 20 years.

Trapp was not hit by the gunfire, but Allen, then 21, almost died, according to court testimony.

Police found a gun near Moore after he ran and was taken into custody.

Moore’s conviction was affirmed Dec. 9, 2008, by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. But 14 months later, the state Court of Appeals reversed that decision and ordered a new trial based on an issue raised about the questioning of potential jurors before the January 2006 trial began, authorities said.

Before calling Moore to the witness stand Thursday, Sobiecki called three Frederick police officers who led or assisted with the investigation plus a crime scene technician and Reginald Cobb, one of three people with Allen the night he was shot.

Unlike the Wednesday testimony of Elisha Bowens, Cobb testified he never saw Moore with a gun. Bowens testified she saw a woman with Moore’s group give a gun from her waistband to him.

“‘I’ve been shot. The b—- shot me,'” Cobb testified Allen told him as he lay bleeding on the ground.

On cross-examination, Shoemaker got Cobb to acknowledge signing a police report in which he told an officer Allen had said, “I think the girl shot me.”

The same police report indicates people with Moore boasted about the presence of firearms. Cobb also told the officer the woman with Moore’s group told Allen and his friends, “We got guns.”

At the time of Moore’s arrest, police said gunfire erupted when Moore mistook Allen and those with him for members of a rival gang.

No such reason came during testimony this week. The two women with Allen said the groups exchanged words when Allen mouthed off at Moore’s group because he thought they had leered at the women.

In his opening statement Wednesday, Sobiecki said Moore wasn’t the only person among those in the area wearing a jersey when the shooting occurred.

On Thursday, Shoemaker got Moore to acknowledge that while his jersey was a long-sleeved Terry Bradshaw football jersey — as identified by Trapp — a woman hanging out with his crowd had on a sleeveless basketball jersey for the New York Knicks.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. today, Solt is scheduled to give instructions to the five women and nine men on the jury.

Closing arguments will follow from the prosecution team of Shoemaker and Melissa H. Bender and defense attorneys Sobiecki and Julie M. Blake.

via The Frederick News-Post Online – Frederick County Maryland Daily Newspaper.

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