For Immediate Release 1/11/2017
Marlo Lomax and Gary Ward face life sentences for ambushing a couple at a bus stop. Lomax was convicted of attempted first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of use of a handgun during the commission of a crime of violence, and first degree assault. Ward was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, two handgun violations including use of a handgun during the commission of a crime of violence and use of a handgun by a prohibited person, as well as first degree assault. Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) Traci Robinson prosecuted the case.
On July 21, 2015 at approximately 9:30 p.m., police officers responded to the 5200 block of York Road in the York-Homeland neighborhood after receiving reports of a shooting. First responders found two people suffering from gunshot wounds.
Over the course of the investigation, police learned that the victims were ambushed by a hail of gunfire at the bus stop by Lomax and Ward. One victim was shot multiple times, including in the face and in the right hand—ultimately losing a finger. The second victim suffered one shot to the hip.
The Victim-Witness Unit of the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City supported the victims and witnesses in this case for more than 18 months as the State prepared for trial, resulting in this successful outcome.
“When I took office, the Victim-Witness Unit was understaffed and underfunded,” said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “I reorganized the unit, placed a veteran prosecutor in charge, and set a goal of having an advocate assigned to each major prosecutorial unit in the office. With approximately 20 percent of cases dismissed in Circuit Court because a witness’s failure to appear, we must do all we can to support our victims and witnesses.”
In the past, homicide ASAs and advocates would wait for a suspect to be identified and charges to be filed before contacting surviving family members of homicide victims. Under this administration, the homicide advocates now work alongside the homicide ASAs to contact the survivors of every homicide victim in the City to inform them of available services, regardless of the status of their case. Survivors can begin to access services, such as counseling or meetings with prosecutors, immediately following the death of their loved one.
With the $2.4 million grant the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City was awarded by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) through the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund in November, the State’s Attorney hopes to expand similar services to all prosecutorial units that involve victim crimes.
“A large part of our success in the courtroom depends on the quality of our witnesses,” said Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “ Therefore, providing adequate support and ensuring their safety is our paramount concern. Our Victim-Witness staff plays a critical role in advocating for victims of crime and letting them know that we truly care about their well-being and the justice to which they are entitled.”
Lomax and Ward are scheduled to be sentenced on March 3, 2017.