Evidence

Inmate's claimed plot to kill prosecutors is admissible at his trial for prior murder, judge says


Explosive claims that an imprisoned defendant awaiting trial in a murder case plotted to kill two Baltimore prosecutors can be used in evidence in the original case, a Maryland judge has ruled.

Although lawyers for Robert G. Moore, 45, and two co-defendants in the original murder conspiracy case objected, Judge Emanuel Brown agreed with the government that Moore’s alleged plot to scare off witnesses by killing the prosecutors is relevant to show consciousness of guilt, the Baltimore Sun reports. A limiting instruction will be offered to the jury concerning the co-defendants.

Moore is accused in the murder conspiracy case of working with his crew to arrange seven shootings in retaliation for the slaying of a relative who was stabbed to death during a home invasion robbery in 2011. One man was killed and five others were injured during the shootings, which took place over a nine-month period.

At one point, the government says, Moore, knowing that a prosecutor on his case was pregnant, threatened to send an associate to the hospital where she would give birth. The Baltimore state’s attorney’s office was alerted to the claimed prosecutor plot by another inmate.

Attorney James Scott represents Moore. He argued that his client had just been blowing off steam, because he was angry and frustrated over being wrongly accused. He also said a claimed threat against a prosecutor should not be given as much weight as a claimed threat against a witness would be, because “The prosecutor’s job is inherently dangerous.”

The Howard County state’s attorney’s office is investigating the alleged threats against the two Baltimore prosecutors, in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

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