BALTIMORE — An accused gang hitman has been acquitted on five counts of attempted murder in a quintuple shooting a Memorial Day barbecue last year, marking the 10th time he has been cleared of such charges.
David Warren, 24, has proven to be a teflon defendant dating back 10 years, having faced his first attempted murder rap when he was just 14-years -old with the charges later being dropped.
The Baltimore Sun noted that since Warren began his alleged shooting spree, the city has had three mayors, four police commissioners and three state’s attorneys.
“David Warren is a trigger-puller,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at the time of his arrest in the barbecue shooting. “David Warren is a member of the 10 Grand Club in Baltimore. That’s a club of people who consider themselves hitmen for hire.”
He “should absolutely not be on the streets of Baltimore,” Davis concluded.
The state’s case against Warren in the barbecue shooting relied on the testimony of one eyewitness, a 61-year-old woman who only reluctantly identified him in court as the gunman even after telling police she was sure he was the man she saw pull the trigger.
Warren’s lawyer, Stephen Patrick Beatty, said his client had been unfairly accused because of his history with police.
“What happens is a person gets wrongfully accused, and he ends up on the radar of police, and he stays on the radar even when it’s a case they can’t make,” Beatty told the Sun. “Anytime something happens, he’s someone who they come looking for.”
Authorities said they struggled to get witnesses to come forward but that people were scared to testify.
“It just can’t be a 61-year-old woman stepping up,” City Councilman Brandon Scott said. “It has to be men, young men, who know what happened and won’t say something. You can’t let someone’s grandmother be the only voice.”
“I totally get people’s fear and hesitance,” he added. “That fear allows these people to continuously commit these crimes and leads to neighborhoods where people fear to go outside.”
Warren’s voluminous rap sheet dates back to 2006 when he was first hit with an attempted murder charge which was later dropped. Three years later, he was once again charged with attempted first-degree murder but those charges were also eventually dropped.
In 2010, he was charged with attempted first-degree murder for the third time, but the charges were later dropped. In 2012, authorities charged him with being part of a conspiracy of murder and retaliatory violence by an East Baltimore drug gang, but the charges were later dropped.
In 2015, he was charged with firearms counts and with conspiracy to distribute drugs, but those charges were dropped last year.
In the Memorial Day barbecue shooting, Warren still faces federal gun possession charges related to two handguns he attempted to ditch while being arrested by Baltimore cops.