The trial for the man accused of killing a volunteer firefighter was postponed after the judge approved a motion to suppress key evidence in the case.
Jon Hickey, a Baltimore County volunteer firefighter, photographer, friend and son, was found dead in his Upper Fells Point apartment last November.
He was in the front living room lying on the sofa when detectives discovered he had been shot in the head. His valuables appeared untouched but the door to his back bedroom was unlocked and left slightly open.
Police later found surveillance video of someone breaking into his building the night he was killed.
“So, it's no question in most people's minds that the perpetrator is depicted in the video coming and going, coming and going, and finally climbing in the window, no question about that, that we agree that's the perp. The question is, who is that individual?” said Warren Brown, the defense attorney for Daniel Greene.
Hickey's girlfriend, Jennifer McKay, identified the man in the video as Daniel Greene, her on and off again boyfriend who she separated with several months earlier.
According to charging documents, her identification led to Greene’s arrest but that key piece of evidence may no longer be used at trial.
On Monday, the judge granted Brown’s motion to suppress the evidence after he argued that detectives were suggestive during the identification process therefore the evidence is unreliable.
“Isn't this Dan? This looks like Dan. Oh, he has a beard just like Dan,” said Brown repeating what he heard on the video of the witness identifying Greene. “You know, you're there to listen to what the identifying witness has to say, you're not suggesting to them who they should pick out. You're not suggesting to them who is being depicted in the video in this case.”
Brian McDermott, a spokesperson for the Hickey family, was also in court Monday. He said he didn't agree with the judge’s ruling or that detectives acted inappropriately.
“The officer asked, how are you so sure? She said, well, you know, I recognize his beard, I recognize his hair, I recognize the way he walks, that jacket, Under Armour jacket that he wore, he wore all the time. And they're like, well why are you so confident? She says I was with the guy for five years, now if that isn't a confident identification of a subject, what else could be?,” McDermott said.
McDermott added that the family is deeply disturbed by the judge's decision but hopeful that it'll be reversed.
The Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office said they cannot comment on this open and pending matter. They did, however, file a notice of intent to appeal the judge's ruling. It will now go to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. They have four months to make a decision but it could be sooner.
Regardless of the outcome, the state can still try the case and present any new evidence.
In the meantime, the defense has requested a bail hearing for Greene. Brown said it's scheduled for Thursday afternoon.