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Family of Timothy Reynolds launches petition to reinstate original prosecutor in murder case

Posted at 1:17 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 17:50:17-05

BALTIMORE — The family of Timothy Reynolds is petitioning to have the original attorney assigned to prosecuting his alleged killer back on the case.

Rita Wistoff-Ito was the first Assistant Baltimore City State's Attorney tasked with prosecuting a squeegee kid accused of murdering Reynolds in July, following an altercation downtown.

Thiru Vignarajah, who represents the Reynolds family, says that Wistoff was removed from the case by Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby for allegedly providing court documents to the victim's lawyers.

MORE: Victim attorney releases CCTV photos of July's deadly encounter between driver and squeegee kid

"State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby told the court that Rita was removed because she shared with the victim's lawyer a copy of a document she had just filed with the court," said Vignarajah. "But, under Maryland law, Rita was required to provide us this copy."

The State's Attorney's Office later issued a memo that seemed to confirm the leak.

Wistoff initially charged the now 15-year-old defendant as an adult, and reportedly offered him a plea deal that called for 60-years behind bars.

The teen's lawyers quickly rejected that proposal. Mosby then issued a statement saying the offer was not authorized or approved by her office.

Days later, Mosby announced that she and the teen's defense council had reached an agreement to have the case moved from adult court to the juvenile justice system.

A judge however ruled against that plan, ordering the teen suspect to be tried at the adult level.

"There is no one who knows this case better than Rita," said Vignarajah. "She worked with the detectives throughout the investigation; she presented the indictment to the grand jury; she built strong relationships with the witnesses; and she has sought the truth and fought for us at every step."

So far the online petition to have Wistoff reinstated has 829 signatures.

When asked about Wistoff's status, a spokesperson with the State's Attorney's Office said "we're not going to discuss staffing related matters with the media."

The case is scheduled to proceed in Baltimore City Circuit Court on December 20. It's unclear who will lead the prosecution.