After more than three hours of deliberation, a jury has found an Annapolis man guilty of firing the stray bullet that killed a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman’s mother last year.
Angelo Harrod, 31, was found guilty of more than 10 charges, which included first- and second- degree murder.
Prosecutors said Harrod was firing multiple rounds at an SUV nearby when one of those shots hit Michelle Cummings, 57, who was on the patio of the nearby Graduate Hotel. Cummings was in town from Texas to see her son’s induction to the Naval Academy.
Harrod was also found guilty of two counts of attempted first- and second-degree murder, the use of a firearm in a violent crime, having a loaded handgun on his person and reckless endangerment.
“I’m relieved; I’m very happy that the jury was able to see the incredible amount of work that the police and prosecution team put into this case that it was an incredibly strong presentation,” Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess told WTOP.
Leitess said the Cummings family said it is also relieved that the jury brought them justice, adding that this wasn’t an easy case for prosecutors or police, because they encountered many reluctant witnesses.
She thanked the jury for all they went through during the trial and for rendering the verdict.
“For them to sit through two weeks of hearing this terrible evidence, and seeing, on body-worn camera, Michelle Cummings shortly after she was shot – it’s very traumatic,” Leitess said.
The state’s attorney said she believes one of the pieces of evidence that convinced the jury was the shooter’s sweatshirt, which was recovered by police.
“We got the clothing he was wearing that he’s seen on video wearing and it had his DNA on it and had gunshot residue on it,” she said.
Harrod’s lawyer, Howard Cardin, told WTOP he’s “disappointed but certainly not surprised” by the outcome in the case. Cardin said he intends to file a motion for a new trial at Harrod’s request.
Leitess said she doesn’t believe any errors made this trial unfair – something she said the defense would have to prove.
“I think the judge did a very good job,” Leitess said.
While this trial has come to a conclusion, Leitess said the investigation into the shooting is not over, as they continue to search for a second shooter who opened fire that day.
“I would just encourage anyone with information to contact the Annapolis Police Department and share that with them so that everyone who was involved in this case can be brought to justice,” Leitess said.