After more than three hours without having reached a verdict, jurors were asked to return to Montgomery County Circuit Court Thursday to continue deliberations in the case of a man on trial in the kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder of a Germantown resident.
Quinnton Brown, 25, of Columbia, MD, could face a maximum life sentence for the most serious charge against him, first-degree attempted murder. He also has been charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, and related conspiracy charges, in addition to weapons offenses.
Brown was named as one of at least three men suspected in a Jan. 22 incident at a Germantown apartment complex in which the suspects approached a man in a parking lot at gunpoint, forced him to withdraw money from an ATM, then marched him into the woods and fired a shot toward him, according to court testimony.
Henry Ihienkonye claimed he evaded his captors by faking a gunshot wound. Police testified Tuesday that a hole about the diameter of a pencil was found in his pants, near his knee.
The pants were not presented as evidence during the trial.
For a first-degree attempted murder conviction, prosecutors had to show that the act was premeditated and intentional.
Intent, assistant public defender Theresa Cheronsky told jurors, “does not mean that Henry thinks he’s going to be killed.”
Throughout the trial, arguments hinged on motive and the reliability of Ihienkonye’s testimony in court and to police
The defense claimed that Ihienkonye exaggerated his story “to make it sound bad.”
In her cross-examination of Ihienkonye and in her closing arguments, Cheronsky tried to suggest that Ihienkonye and Brown knew each better than Ihienkonye had let on in court.
“You don’t have to know why the story is fishy to know that it stinks,” Cheronsky said.
Montgomery County Assistant State's Attorney Jeffrey Wennar said the evidence did not support a motive for exaggerations by Ihienkonye. He pegged Brown as the “mastermind.”
“If Henry were cooperating, he wouldn’t have been driving his own vehicle,” Wennar said.
Brown chose not to testify. The defense did not call any witnesses.