Attorneys for a Frederick teen charged with murder in a 2018 shooting death have alleged that detectives lied to obtain search warrants.
The warrant allowing detectives to search Ean Davis-Lattimore’s social media accounts and home were based in part on false interpretations of the teen’s interview statements, according to recent pleadings by his defense attorneys. Davis-Lattimore, 17, is charged with second-degree murder and assault stemming from a shooting that left one dead and one injured outside a May 2018 prom party.
Davis-Lattimore has been held without bail since his May 13 arrest in the killing of Genesis Marie McCarter-Berretto and the non-fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy in the 1800 block of Weybridge Road.
In investigating the crimes, Frederick Police Department detectives executed warrants to search Davis-Lattimore’s house and account on the social media platform Snapchat.
Those warrants were supported in part through misrepresentation of Davis-Lattimore’s comments in interviews with police and the exclusion of more than a dozen denials of involvement in the shooting, attorneys Matthew Frawley and Catherine Keller of the Office of the Public Defender argue. Frawley and Keller moved Nov. 13 to suppress evidence seized in the searches. They also requested a hearing over how the case might be tainted, alleging that police wouldn’t have had probable cause to search Davis-Lattimore’s house and Snapchat account without the statements.
In applications for the search warrants, detectives David Dewees and Jeffrey Putman said that Davis-Lattimore admitted to firing a gun, according to court records. Dewees, seeking a warrant to search Davis-Lattimore’s Snapchat account, included that the defendant told Detective Jorge Garcia he was involved in the shooting.
“Det. Dewees fails to note that the Defendant denied more than a dozen times that he ever had a gun or that he ever shot a gun at the day and time in question,” the defense pleading states. “At no time during the interview with Det. Garcia, did the Defendant admit that he handled a firearm.”
Frawley and Keller allege that detectives concluded Davis-Lattimore said he shot a gun based on single answers to a succession of different questions.
In Putman’s application to search Davis-Lattimore’s house, he wrote that “When asked by Det. Garcia why he shot the gun, Davis-Lattimore states, ‘I don’t know the reason why,’” according to pleadings.
Davis-Lattimore repeatedly said “I don’t know” in response to a series of Garcia’s questions, some of which were specific to the May 13 incident and others that were broad questions about why people use guns, according to a transcript of the hourlong interview.
“It is not clear which of the eight questions Mr. Davis is attempting to answer,” the defense pleading states. “For Det. Putman to declare in a sworn statement that the Defendant admitted to shooting the gun is a bald lie.”
The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office defended the search warrants. In a response filed Nov. 26, prosecutors asked the court to deny the request because the motion lacks evidence Dewees made false statements “knowingly or intentionally or with reckless disregard for the truth.”
Even without the alleged admissions of involvement, according to the state’s attorney’s office, police still had probable cause for the search warrants. Davis-Lattimore matched a description of the shooter given by witnesses. He admitted to being at the party and being involved in an altercation inside the house before running away.
A hearing over the defense’s motion is scheduled for Feb. 25 in Frederick County Circuit Court.
Dewees and Putman could not be reached for comment Friday.