By Tashi McQueen
AFRO Political Writer

More than 100 potential jurors gathered inside of Baltimore’s Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse on July 17 for the jury selection process in the case of a 16-year old Black teen accused of the first-degree murder of Timothy Reynolds. The 48-year-old White male was shot to death in July 2022 after a brief altercation, partially caught on camera. 

“This case is really going to be hinged upon self-defense and defense of third parties if they can identify my client as the shooter,” said Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon to the press after the jury selection process. “I think we’re in a great position to be acquitted of these charges.”

The defendant is not named, due to his age.

“We got a great jury in there. We meticulously chose them, and I think at the end of the day, we all agreed that those individuals we selected today were the best individuals to hear this case,” said Gordon.

The jury selection process initiated what is estimated to be a weeklong trial, lasting from July 18 to July 25, though it may end sooner.

The six-hour-long process ended with selecting 12 jurists and four alternatives. Of the 12 jurors,  seven are Black, four are White and one is Hispanic. There is only one White man on the panel. 

While deciding upon questions to ask jurors before they entered the courtroom, the defendant’s side wanted to ask a question using the term “youth violence,” but Judge Jennifer Schiffer did not permit it.

“This case is really going to be hinged upon self-defense, and defense of third parties, if they can identify my client as the shooter.” 

Though Gordon said the case “has nothing to do with squeegee workers,” jurists were asked if they had strong feelings about squeegee workers or a negative or positive experience with one. To this question, about 70 jurists answered yes.

Gordon gave a preview of the arguments jurists will hear throughout the trial.

“In this particular case, we have a child placed in a situation he didn’t create. He was provoked,” said Gordon. “He was being attacked by a 6-foot-3 inch, 329-pound man, full of rage and fueled by alcohol and attempted to use deadly force against not only my client but the other children out there and as a result of decisions that he made, the situation ended up poorly.”

The Reynolds family briefly appeared in court alongside Thiru Vignarajah, the family’s spokesperson.

“Today was obviously a very hard day for everyone all across the city, but today moved us one step closer toward justice,” said Vignarajah. “The family is grateful for the outpouring of support from communities across Baltimore and is hopeful and confident that once the facts are heard, justice will be done.”

Tashi McQueen is a Report For America Corps Member.

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