By DON AINES
8:08 PM EST, January 24, 2013
A Washington County Circuit Court jury on Thursday found a Hagerstown man guilty of assault and weapons charges for attacking a man during a 2012 drug deal.
Judge Dana Moylan Wright ordered a presentence investigation for Eric Shaquille Baymon, who was found guilty of first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun in a crime of violence, reckless endangerment and two other gun charges.
First-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and use of a handgun in a crime of violence has a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, under Maryland law.
Baymon, 19, of 42 E. Washington St., was charged in an April 11, 2012, incident near the intersection of Lee and Potomac streets in which he was accused of assaulting Giancarlos Badia, 22, of 272 S. Potomac St., according to Hagerstown police charging documents.
Badia testified “he was there to sell some marijuana” to Baymon, Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher McCormack said in his closing argument. Badia testified Baymon pulled and gun and struck him in the head with it during a struggle, McCormack told the jury.
Badia testified he took the gun from Baymon, slammed him to the ground, then pointed the weapon at Baymon and at the car in which Baymon was driven to the site, McCormack said.
The charging document stated a shot was fired during the incident and a spent shell casing was found.
Michael Andrew Johnson, who was in the car with Baymon, told police in a recorded interview that Baymon came back to the car and said, “He’s got my gun,” McCormack said.
Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden told jurors the state witnesses lacked credibility.
Badia was a drug dealer who possibly brought the gun to the meeting and initially lied to police, telling them he was there to sell a computer game system, Creeden said.
Badia, who was also charged with first-degree assault and other offenses in the incident, also has a pending agreement to plead to misdemeanor counts in exchange for his testimony, Creeden said.
Johnson was under the influence of a drug, spice, when interviewed two hours after the incident, Creeden said. Johnson later told a Public Defender’s Office investigator that Baymon told him, “He’s got a gun,” referring to Badia, Creeden said.
Baymon has a violation of probation hearing next month on a 2011 second-degree assault conviction for which he received a 10-year suspended sentence. That stemmed from an attempted robbery of the Nadia Convenience Store in Hagerstown on Feb. 20, 2011.
Baymon was 17 years old and a Greencastle-Antrim High School basketball player at the time of that incident, but his case was heard in adult court.
Baymon’s trial began Wednesday and got off to a slow start Thursday as Johnson failed to show up to resume the testimony he began the day before.
Wright ordered him brought to court, but it was noon before the trial resumed.
Johnson told Wright after the trial he had overslept and she did not hold him in contempt. The trial was originally scheduled for Jan. 7, but was postponed because Johnson failed to show up then, Creeden said after the trial.
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