A trial for a man accused of shooting one young woman in the head while robbing another at a Fredericksburg playground in 2017 is scheduled to start Wednesday.
But a judge’s ruling Monday could lead to a prosecutor seeking a new court date.
Dajon Armani Morton, 23, of Gaithersburg, Md., is charged with robbery, unlawful wounding, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, conspiracy and credit card theft. A two-day trial is scheduled to start Wednesday in Fredericksburg Circuit Court.
But Judge Sarah Deneke on Monday ruled that evidence obtained from multiple search warrants would not be admissible in Wednesday’s trial. Defense attorney Tara-Beth Coleman argued that the affidavits for the formerly sealed search warrants were filed only Monday, well after the legal deadline. Deneke agreed.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Humphries could seek to postpone the trial so the evidence would be available to use in court at a later date.
According to court records and police reports, the shooting took place on July 27, 2017, at the W.L. Harris Neighborhood Park in Mayfield subdivision. Two 18-year-old women were together that night in a covered pavilion when a man ran up and attempted to rob one of them. While he was struggling to get the robbery victim’s purse, the gun went off and struck the other woman in the head.
The shooting victim was critically injured, but has recovered sufficiently enough to testify, court records indicate.
Court records show that the robbery victim inherited a large amount of money when her mother died and had been spending a significant amount on her friends for such things as shoes and motel rooms.
Court records state that Morton was among the group in the motel rooms and that a week before the robbery/shooting, he struck the robbery victim in the stomach after becoming upset because she didn’t purchase the shoes he wanted.
On the day of the robbery, the robbery victim treated herself, the shooting victim and others to manicures and pedicures. During the ride to the salon, she dropped a $6,000 wad of cash out of her purse and one of the group members posted it on Snapchat, court records state.
Court records also say Morton stole a gun from a Stafford home during the same time frame. The victim said he reported the theft to police, but no police report was found.
A special grand jury indicted Morton on July 23 after hearing testimony from witnesses. Grand jury proceedings are closed to the public.