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Verdict Not Yet Reached in Mall Shooting Trial

A Baltimore County judge ordered the jurors to return Wednesday morning.

A Baltimore County jury has not yet reached a verdict in the trial of two men accused in a fatal shooting at Towson Town Center last December.

Deliberations continued Tuesday in the trial of William Ward III and Frank Theodore Williams, who prosecutors say were part of a group that followed Baltimore teen Rodney Pridget through Towson Town Center before alleged gunman Tyrone Brown shot him outside Nordstrom. The jury will reconvene Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

Ward, 45, of the 600 block of Cator Avenue in Baltimore, and Williams, 32, of the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle in Baltimore Highlands are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and use of a handgun in a violent crime in the death of Vest Pridget, who was on Dec. 19.

The jury convened at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, following the long Labor Day weekend. The jury sent Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert E. Cahill Jr. a note at 6:47 p.m. informing him one exhibit—phone records for alleged co-conspirator Jermell Brandon—was missing its first page. Prosecutor Robin Coffin located a copy of the page in a file cabinet, and the jury was sent back in to deliberate at around 7:30 p.m.

A second note, sent at 9:37 p.m., apparently asked about whether the jury can convict Ward and Williams on different charges.

Prosecutors "would be fine with a partial verdict," Coffin told Cahill.

The jury, after the defense declined to call witnesses. Both men could face life in prison.

In their trial last week, prosecutors said Pridget, 19, was targeted because he allegedly shot Williams' cousin, Dustin Smith.

Police say Williams and Ward were among a group of four that stalked Pridget through the mall. and phone records showed the men communicating and interacting around the mall. During the trial, a police gang enforcement expert testified that Williams and Ward are leaders in the Black Guerilla Family.

Jermell Brandon, who allegedly made the phone call to Williams that led to Williams driving to the mall with Ward and accused gunman Tyrone Brown, and that Brown took the role of shooter to advance his status in the gang.

In a separate proceeding Tuesday, Brown's trial, scheduled to start next month, was postponed. Brandon struck a plea deal with prosecutors and faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge.

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