By AFRO Staff

On July 15, Christopher Rather was convicted of second-degree murder and openly carrying a deadly weapon in the killing of Jasmine Pierce-Morris.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Bethany Durand and Shaundria Hanna prosecuted the case.

Christopher Rather (Baltimore Police Photo)

At approximately 10:30 am on June 12, 2018, in the 2400 block of Westfield Avenue, a woman walking her dog found the body of 19- year old Pierce-Morris on the bleachers of the Reginald F. Lewis practice football field.  The victim’s body was discovered face down with her hands bound with rope behind her back. The autopsy results revealed Pierce-Morris suffered multiple fractures to her skull, multiple stab wounds and signs of strangulation.

At the crime scene, BPD detectives recovered a junior prom picture of the victim and a male, later identified as Rather.   Through further investigation, BPD detectives learned Pierce-Morris was planning to meet the defendant, who was her ex-boyfriend, at the crime scene the night before her body was discovered.

Rather was taken into custody, questioned, and provided an alibi for the night of June 11, 2018.   However, the alibi witness told police that he was not with Rather the night of the murder and that the defendant asked him to lie and tell the police they were together.

DNA from the defendant was found on the rope that was around the victim’s neck and the rope around the victim’s wrists.  A mixture of DNA from the defendant and the victim was also found on Rather’s shoe when he was taken into custody.  Additionally, detectives located a towel from the defendant’s trash at the Eastern Landfill in Baltimore County, which had the victim’s DNA on it.

“As a mother of two young girls, this heinous murder broke my heart,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.  “Jasmine was young, full of promise, and did not deserve for her life to tragically end so soon.  I hope her loved ones find some relief that justice was served and they can continue down the challenging path of grieving and healing.”

Rather’s sentencing is scheduled for October 8, 2019, and he faces 43 years in prison for his crimes.