For Immediate Release 5/18/2017
Southwest Baltimore—Rudolph Datcher was convicted by a Baltimore City jury of attempted voluntary manslaughter, first degree assault, using a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, reckless endangerment, possession of an unregistered shotgun, and discharging a firearm.
Assistant State’s Attorney Judson Arnold prosecuted the case.
On October 3, 2016, police were called to a residence in the 4500 block of Manorview Road in Southwest Baltimore’s Uplands neighborhood. Upon arrival, police found the victim, Syreeta Singletary, suffering from a gunshot wound to the face and shoulder. She was transported to Shock Trauma to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Investigators learned that Datcher and Singletary knew each other well. Prior to the incident, Datcher and Singletary were engaged in an ongoing dispute.
On the day of the shotgun attack, Singletary approached the back door of Datcher’s home and demanded he come outside. Datcher told investigators that Singletary brought at least two people with her to confront him. According to Singletary, her encounter with Datcher was unplanned, and only one other person was with her.
Datcher refused to open the back door. He then called his neighbor—who is also his godmother— for help. Datcher’s neighbor went outside, and asked Singletary and her associate(s) to leave. Instead Singletary—who witnesses say was carrying a broom—went around to the front of Datcher’s house and began banging on his car, demanding that he come outside.
Investigators believe Datcher retrieved the unregistered shotgun, walked out onto his front porch, and fired in the direction of Singletary—hitting her indirectly in the face and shoulder with the scatter-shot of the shotgun blast. He then fired a second blast through his front door from inside his home.
Datcher claimed that he fired through his front door first and then from his front porch. However, 911 calls revealed that a woman had already been reported to be lying on the ground when 911 operators heard a shotgun blast over the phone—substantiating the State’s case that he fired at Singletary from his porch before firing a second time through his front door.
“It doesn’t matter if he shot through his front door first or from his porch, or whether there was one person with the victim or two— he was never in danger of imminent physical harm,” Arnold said. “There was absolutely no reason for him to use that shotgun when he could have waited inside his home for the police to arrive.”
State’s Attorney Mosby agrees that “street justice” should never be used.
“Datcher at any point before firing his weapon could have called the police for help, but instead he took matters into his own hands seriously injuring Ms. Singletary and could have harmed other innocent bystanders,” State’s Attorney Mosby said. “I am pleased that justice prevailed and Datcher will have time to think about the unreasonableness of his actions and the threat they posed to his community.”
Datcher faces a maximum of 35 years in prison for his crimes. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 31, 2017.