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'Perfect self-defense': Lawyers, family defend teen squeegee worker charged with murder

The boy's grandmother and father spoke with the media Friday
Posted at 1:55 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 18:27:32-04

BALTIMORE — The lawyers and family of the 15-year-old Baltimore squeegee worker charged with murdering Timothy Reynolds spoke to the media Friday, calling the incident potentially a case of "perfect self-defense."

Attorneys J. Wyndal Gordon and Warren Brown, who are representing the teen (who just turned 15), noted their client has never been in trouble with the law and was clearly just frightened by a threatening confrontation by an adult man.

They would not confirm that the teen was in fact the shooter, but said if he was, it would clearly be a case of self-defense.

Police said Reynolds got into some sort of confrontation with a squeegee worker, went through the intersection at Light and Conway in downtown Baltimore before pulling over. Officers said Reynolds walked across the street and swung a bat at a group of squeegee workers on July 7. Reynolds was shot and ultimately died from the shooting.

The 15-year-old was taken into custody on Thursday.

Gordon said in the press conference:

"Someone wielding a bat, we would believe is definitely deadly force and the law allows deadly force to be met with deadly force. We understand the duty to retreat, but there's no duty when it's unsafe or the avenue of escape is unknown."

The attorney said the teen was "5-foot-6 and frail," and said he was forced to make a split-second decision that would take someone else's life and alter his forever.

"I think ultimately the facts are going to show that this is a case of what we call perfect self-defense," Gordon said.

Family describes teen squeegee worker accused of murder as 'good kid'

Maryland state law says citizens have a duty to retreat when it comes firing a weapon and his lawyers believe it's a duty the teen either fulfilled or at least attempted.

"There’s a curb nearby," Gordon said. "You can trip over that curb and if you trip over that curb as you’re trying to retreat, whether you’re armed or not, you’re backing up, and if you trip over a curb, you can get batted to death by this 200-plus pound man."

Even though the teen is underage and isn't legally permitted to own a fire arm, the attorneys say the results, if he hadn't a gun, would be different.

"I think our client would’ve been seriously injured or killed that day by that overly aggressively man wielding a bat," Gordon said.

Brown said the teen "was just out there trying to make some money, honest money" and would go between President and Conway streets.

"On a good day he made $200, on a bad day he made $90," said Brown.

He explained: "It's a sad situation for everybody. This young man is 5 foot 6 - my height - and 126 pounds. He's a small child; he was 14 at the time. The deceased was over 6 feet and over 200 pounds wielding a bat... drives across Light Street, parks over near Hooters, comes back across all these lanes of traffic with this bat. So that's quite frightening and quite menacing. This young kid has no history with the system, he hasn't been detained in any juvenile facilities, he was in school, he was not a troublemaker, and he was out there because he has been associated with older people who were ravaged either by the use of drugs or the sale of drugs, going in and out of prison, that type of lifestyle."

Brown said it's still unclear really who did the shooting, but whoever did it, "it was certainly justified... If, in fact, that's where we've come to, that you allow to use a deadly weapon against a little frail 14-year-old boy because they irritate you, then we have lost all sense of a civilized society... It was an act of road rage, that was exactly what it was. It was road rage. I don't know what it is about our society these days, but we get angry so quick and we get violent so quick."

Attorneys defend teen squeegee worker accused of murder

If the teen's lawyers have their way, the case will be transferred to juvenile court where they believe it belongs based on charges they feel would be more accurate, highlighting the absence of premeditation and their client's motive of self defense.

"We do not believe that this is a first-degree murder case. We do not believe this is a second-degree murder case," Gordon said.

The teen's father, Tavon Scott, and grandmother, Tonia McClain, seemed emotional while speaking at the press conference.

Scott described his son as "a good kid" who likes to read and has "never been through nothing like this before. It's a shock to all of us."

He said:

"For a grown man to come for a child with a baseball bat. they're a child. So for the world to think he's just a squeegee kid - he's a child, with feelings. That's my child."

McClain said that the family supports the teen and "he is frightened."