Video Footage Shows Final Moments of Murdered Teen's Life
Police played surveillance footage from Dec. 19, the night Rodney Pridget was shot and killed.
Drawing on footage from hundreds of cameras, investigators presented to a Baltimore County jury the final moments of Rodney Pridget's life.
Pridget, 19, was shot and killed outside Nordstrom at Towson Town Center on Dec. 19, during the height of the holiday shopping rush. Four men are alleged to have followed the Baltimore teen through the mall, and one is said by police to have fired eight rounds into Pridget's head, chest, back, arms and right flank.
Two men are on trial for first-degree murder and other charges this week in the case: Frank Theodore Williams, 31, of Baltimore Highlands and William Ward III, 44, of Baltimore.
Wednesday morning's testimony centered largely on Williams. Police say he was behind the wheel of a burgundy Lexus and drove Ward and alleged gunman Tyrone Chester Brown to the scene.
According to a timeline in charging documents, alleged accomplice Jermell Brandon and his cousin saw Pridget and his 17-year-old girlfriend inside DTLR on the mall's first floor. He then allegedly called Williams, who parked a borrowed burgundy Lexus in a mall garage and entered Macy's with Ward, investigators said surveillance footage shows. Pridget was shot after leaving through the second-floor exit of Nordstrom and walking down a sidewalk toward Fairmount Avenue.
The jury saw video from some of Towson Town Center's 268 cameras, plus others installed inside stores. The video shows events from the time Pridget and his girlfriend entered DTLR at 5:11 p.m. on Dec. 19 to 6:43 p.m., when Brown drives away in the Lexus.
The video was difficult to observe from the gallery, but homicide Detective Alan Barton described the sequence of events to the jury and displayed maps and photographs of the mall.
The cameras caught the victim's and suspects' movements throughout the mall, ultimately capturing Pridget leaving Nordstrom, followed by several suspects. The shooting happened just out of range of surveillance cameras, however.
Additional video, Barton said, showed the suspects on cell phones, communicating with each other.
On Wednesday, homicide Detective Jim Lambert, a lead investigator on the case, told the jury about his interactions with Williams, who was initially detained by police for questioning the night of the shooting.
Prosecutors played video of the first interview with Williams, conducted the night of the killing at police headquarters in Towson. The interview lasted late into the night, and at several points, Williams wondered out loud what he was doing there.
Lambert said investigators would speak to Williams two more times in January, and he was issued a subpoena twice to testify before a grand jury, but ended up only speaking with investigators and a representative of the Baltimore County State's Attorney's office.
Several details of Williams' story changed in the later interviews, including adding Ward as a passenger in the borrowed car, and that Williams entered the mall then left with Brandon's cousin, Lambert said.
In cross-examination, defense attorneys made the point that Williams was generally cooperative and truthful with investigators and gave police leads far earlier than they otherwise would have found them. Additionally, at no point until his arrest in February was Williams informed that he was a suspect and read his Miranda rights.
But when the defense implied the case may not have been cracked without Williams, Lambert said, "There would have been a longer process."
Judge Robert E. Cahill Jr. declared an evening recess around 5 p.m, and said the case was moving at "a good pace." Prosecutors expect the trial to wrap by the week's end. The trial will reconvene in Baltimore County Circuit Court on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
On Tuesday, the Towson Times reports, police and witnesses testified, including Pridget's girlfriend.
Brown is set to face trial in September. No trial date has yet been set for Brandon.
Read a police timeline released in February's charging documents.