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Prosecutors Wrap in Mall Shooting Trial

A Baltimore County jury viewed an interview with one of the alleged conspirators and surveillance footage that purports to show the suspects coordinating via cell phone.

A Baltimore County jury will soon get to decide the fate of two men accused in a at Towson Town Center.

William Ward III, 45, of the 600 block of Cator Avenue in Baltimore and Frank Theodore Williams, 32, of the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle in Baltimore Highlands are standing trial this week on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges for their roles in the death of Baltimore teen Rodney Pridget,. Police say they followed Pridget through the mall and another Baltimore man, 19-year-old Tyrone Brown, pulled the trigger outside the store.

In testimony Thursday, alleged co-conspirator Jermell Brandon  on Pridget for shooting and injuring his cousin, Dustin Smith.

Prosecutors rested their case at 12:46 p.m. after testimony from Det. James Lambert (who also testified ). Attorneys for Williams said they had no witnesses to call. After the jury left for recess, prosecutor Robin Coffin told Judge Edward Cahill Jr. that prosecutors plan to drop a charge for first-degree assault.

In his testimony Friday, Lambert discussed his interview with Ward following his Feb. 2 arrest, a video of which was played in the courtroom.

Ward was evasive, denying he arrived at the mall with Williams and Brown, insisting he arrived at the mall by bus. He is seen in surveillance footage interacting with Brandon and Williams, but claimed he only knew the two through his son and denied knowledge of the shooting.

"I never followed anybody in that mall anywhere," Ward said in the interview. "I never followed anybody in that mall nowhere."

Lambert also explained mall surveillance footage that prosecutors say show the four suspects coordinating by phone throughout the mall on the night of the killing. Police used phone surveillance and surveillance time codes, Lambert said, to match calls to and from phones used by suspects with people in the video shown to be on the phone.

The first call came at 5:19 p.m. on Dec. 19, when Brandon is seen with his phone in his hand and phone records say he dialed Frank Williams' phone. Williams and Ward enter Macy's at 6:01 p.m. The suspects make numerous calls between eachother, with Brandon contacting Ward 20 times between Dec. 19 and 20.

In cross-examination, one of Williams' attorneys suggested that Ward attemped to make Williams a "patsy" by claiming Williams would have more knowledge of the events of that December evening.

The attorney, Josh Insley, again asserted that Williams' cooperation was key to identifying the other people involved in the case and that he was generally truthful in his four interviews with police, a fact with which Lambert and Coffin appeared to disagree, citing inconsistencies and initial misstatements given to police earlier in the process.

"It would have taken us months later, but we had people telling us what happened," Lambert said.

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