We trust that the police will do their due diligence to investigate every lead and every possible suspect before trying to put someone in jail for the rest of their life. Tragically, that doesn’t always happen.
In 2016, one Maryland man was arrested for the murder of a 21-year-old student. But when the trial began, it was clear something incredibly important was missing from the police’s investigation…
A Hard-Working Student
In 2016, 20-year-old Gerald Williams was enrolled in his third year at Morgan State University. According to Gerald’s mom, Jone’e Brown, he had been working hard to improve his grades and was hoping to use his studies to get a job as a journalist.
“He was a great student. He had just gotten the whole feel of college. He was so proud,” Jone’e said. But everything Gerald had worked for was all taken away shortly after his friend, Daequan Gordon, came for a visit to the Baltimore-based school while on his way to Boston…
Gordon wanted some extra spending money for his trip and thought he had a foolproof way to make some money. According to Gordon, he planned to use a counterfeit $50 to buy $10 worth of weed from a drug dealer so he could get $40 in change of legitimate money.
Gerald had given Gordon the name and contact information for a drug dealer that he knew. As Gordon had hoped, the dealer took the $50 and gave him $40 in change. However, it wasn’t long before the drug dealer noticed something wasn’t right…
When the dealer realized Gordon had ripped him off, he called and demanded that Gordon give him his money back. The dealer threatened to beat Gerald up if he refused to meet and pay him, so Gordon agreed to meet on the night of February 1st.
As planned, Gordon and his friends went to the spot they had agreed upon. However, Gordon had no intention of paying back any of the money, which is why he brought a few friends, one of whom was Gerald, to back him up in case there was a fight…
However, when they arrived, Gordon and his group saw that the dealer had come prepared with his own crew of guys to back him up in case Gordon tried to back out of their deal. “I’m not giving you your money,” Gordon told the dealer.
When Gordon refused to pay, a fight broke out between the two groups. Gordon had been busy fighting off a member of the dealer’s group, but the next thing he knew, Gerald had collapsed and was on the ground a few feet away…
Fleeing The Crime
The dealer and his group, which included 21-year-old Harry Robertson, jumped in a car and fled from the scene once they saw Gerald lying on the ground with a bad stab wound to the groin area. After receiving a call about a stabbing injury, police rushed to the scene and arrived just before 10 p.m.
First responders rushed the 20-year-old to a local hospital. But Gerald had been stabbed in the femoral artery and had nearly bled out by the time cops arrived. Gerald was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived at the hospital…
The day after the stabbing, the police searched Harry Robertson’s home since he had been seen fighting with Gerald, but did not arrest him since no one had seen who had actually stabbed Gerald and there wasn’t enough evidence.
The School Reacts
In response to the murder, Morgan State University’s President Wilson made a statement about the ‘senseless’ death. “It took the life of one of our students, one who might have graduated and been one of the future leaders in this community. We also appreciate the courage of those who came forward to assist in this investigation by supplying key information…”
It wasn’t until weeks after the fight that the police had what they needed to make an arrest when a student came forward and claimed to have witnessed the fight. According to the student, D’Ana Glenn, Robertson was holding a knife as Gerald lunged at him. Then she saw Gerald collapse to the ground.
An Arrest Is Made
Two months later, on April 1st, Baltimore Police arrested Robertson and charged him with first-degree and second-degree murder as well as possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to cause injury. “While we take comfort in knowing that his alleged murderer has been captured, Morgan still mourns the loss of Gerald Williams,” the school said in a statement…
Community Is Relieved
“I’m just glad he’s off the street,” Gerald’s mom said after it was announced that police had charged Robertson and had him in custody. “I feel a wonderful sense of relief for other children that are out there, particularly on Morgan’s campus.” he said.
The police thanked the Morgan State University community for helping them bring charges against Robertson. However, once the trial began, it was clear that they didn’t have much evidence on Robertson than the eyewitness account…
About a year later, Robertson stood before a judge and jury and testified in his own defense. While testifying, Robertson told the court he was part of the fight but was not fighting Gerald and did not stab him. He also explained that he had jumped in the car with the rest of the group and remembered someone in the car had blood on their clothes.
Robertson’s attorney, David Shapiro, pointed out that the police had not investigated the case thoroughly enough since someone else in the fight could have been responsible for Gerald’s death. “They can’t give you the evidence you deserve to make a weighty, weighty decision,” Shapiro said…
Shapiro also argued that the police were too overworked with 300 homicides, and didn’t have enough time to investigate everyone involved in the fight. So when it was time for the jurors to deliberate, it took only an hour for them to make a decision.
The Jury Decides
The jurors found that Harry Robertson was innocent of the first- and second-degree murder charges brought against him as well as the weapons charge. “From Day One, I have affirmed that my son was innocent [of the killing],” said Harry’s mom, Melinda Robertson.