State Rests In Double Homicide Trial

The defense is expected to present its case beginning on Tuesday.


Frederick, Md (KM) The State wrapped up its case on Monday in Frederick County Circuit Court in the trial of Delajhi Joyner. The 25-year-old New York City resident is charged with two counts of 1st-degree murder for the deaths of Shondre Naylor and Jermaine Hill in the early morning hours of Thursday, November 2nd, 2017. Both had been stabbed, and run over two times by an automobile along Acacia Court which is just outside of Frederick city.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says the prosecution called about five witnesses to the stand on Monday. They included several detectives and the lead investigator in the case. Also called  was a bartender who served Joyner that evening before the murders. That person testified that Joyner was not highly intoxicated when leaving the bar. The defense has said their client had been drinking and wasn’t able to control the car when the two victims were struck.

“There was a civilian who actually drove the defendant to the WaWa, as well as a civilian clerk at the WaWa. All testified about his demeanor, that he {Joyner} was cognizant of what was going on, that he was not highly intoxicated,” Smith said, describing the last witnesses called by the State. “And then finally, we played one jail call from defendant to his mother.”

After the State rested its case, the defense made a motion for judgment of acquittal, arguing there is no legal basis to proceed, and there is insufficient evidence to send the case to the jury.  The judge denied that request.  .

The defense will start making its case before the jury on Tuesday. Smith says it’s difficult to say how long the defendant’s case will last.. “The big question is always whether the defense is going to call their client, the defendant, to the stand to testify. We don’t know that in advance, and he only makes that decision at the time that he’s asked. He can obviously invoke his right against self-incrimination and decide not to testify. Most do, but some don’t,” he says.

The trial will resume at 9:00 AM in Frederick County Circuit Court.


By Kevin McManus