[Baltimore Sun] Jury selected for murder trial in fatal shootings of Baltimore Officer Keona Holley, second victim

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A jury has been selected to decide the fate of a man charged with the 2021 fatal shootings of Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley and 27-year-old Justin Johnson.

Elliott Knox, 34, faces two counts each of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and use of a firearm in a crime of violence, among other gun charges.

His defense attorney and the prosecutor began choosing the jury Monday morning and completed the process by about midday. The panel consists of 12 jurors and four alternates.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer is presiding over the trial, which is scheduled for up to three weeks. It is expected to begin with opening statements Tuesday morning.

The fatal shootings of Holley and Johnson happened in the early morning of Dec. 16, 2021, about 8 miles and less than two hours apart. Police and prosecutors to date have shared little in the way of motive for Holley’s killing, but it’s possible that Knox’s trial could provide some insight.

“Mr. Knox has waited a very long time to explain what happened that evening,” his attorney, Natalie Finegar, told The Baltimore Sun ahead of trial, declining to comment further.

A jury in October convicted Travon Shaw, the other man charged in the killings, of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence, along with other gun offenses, in Johnson’s death. Shaw, 34, is due back in court in March for sentencing, where he faces life in prison.

It’s not clear when he is scheduled to stand trial for the charges stemming from Holley’s fatal shooting.

Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun

Orioles ceremonial first pitch was an honor to Baltimore heroes. (From left to right) Kortez Baker, son of fallen Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley; Michelle Henninger, mother-in-law of fallen Firefighter and paramedic Lieutenant Paul Butrim; Mila Sadler, daughter of fallen Lieutenant Kelsey Sadler; Santiago Lacayo, brother of fallen Firefighter and paramedic Kenneth Lacayo; Firefighter John McMaster all throw out the ceremonial first pitches before Opening Day game against the Brewers on April 11, 2022

Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media

The mother of Baltimore City Police officer Keona S. Holley is escorted up to accept a plaque in honor of her daughter during the Fallen Heroes Day ceremony at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on Friday, May 6, 2022.

The burial site – a memorial area for first responders, receiving its first after recently being completed – for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park Tuesday., Jan. 11, 2022. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

The burial site that was recently completed to offer resting place for first responders. Slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley will be memorialized and interred at King Memorial Cemetery.

Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media

A plaque honoring the life of fallen Baltimore City Police officer, Keona S. Holley, is seen during the Fallen Heroes Day ceremony at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens on Friday, May 6, 2022.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

With Baltimore Police behind, Shante Wells who works at Drink at the Well, speaks to those gathered during a prayer vigil at Curtis Bay Park for Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Officers move forward in a funeral procession for Baltimore police officer Keona Holley, who was shot on December 16, 2021 and died a week later.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions salute as family walk behind the wheeled casket for the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley.

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun

Drivers on the outer loop of I-695 watch as the procession approaches during the funeral for Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley Tuesday afternoon.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Officers move forward in a funeral procession for Baltimore police officer Keona Holley, who was shot on December 16, 2021 and died a week later.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Muzzle flash emits during a three-volley salute during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Officers move forward in a funeral procession for Baltimore police officer Keona Holley, who was shot on December 16, 2021 and died a week later.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Police march to participate in the three-volley salute during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Police officers place the casket of Officer Keona Holley in a hearse following her funeral at the Baltimore Convention Center on Tuesday.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Police officers escort the casket of Officer Keona Holley to the hearse following her funeral at the Baltimore Convention Center on Tuesday. Holley was gunned down in her police cruiser last month as she worked an overtime shift in Curtis Bay.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Law enforcement salute during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Law enforcement salute during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Officers move forward in a funeral procession for Baltimore police officer Keona Holley, who was shot on December 16, 2021 and died a week later.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Law enforcement salute during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park.

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun

Police from multiple agencies line I-695 as the hearse passes during the funeral procession for Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley Tuesday afternoon.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Officers move forward in a funeral procession for Baltimore police officer Keona Holley, who was shot on December 16, 2021 and died a week later.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Officers move forward in a funeral procession for Baltimore police officer Keona Holley, who was shot on December 16, 2021 and died a week later.

Family and friends of Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley stand outside the Baltimore Convention Center following her funeral on Tuesday. Holley was gunned down in her police cruiser last month as she worked an overtime shift in Curtis Bay. Jan. 11, 2022.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Floral tributes honoring Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley are carried outside the Baltimore Convention Center after her funeral on Tuesday, Jan. 11. She was gunned down in her police cruiser as she worked an overtime shift in Curtis Bay. File. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun).

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun

Member for the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Dept. salute as the hearse passes during the funeral procession for Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley Tuesday afternoon.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

The casket is removed to take to the interment spot during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park.

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun

A miles long procession of police vehicles leads the funeral procession for Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley Tuesday afternoon.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Law enforcement from multiple jurisdictions move to their positions during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park on Tuesday., Jan. 11, 2022.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

Officers move forward in a funeral procession for Baltimore police officer Keona Holley, who was shot on December 16, 2021 and died a week later.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Color guards from multiple jurisdictions cast winter shadows on the frozen ground while taking their positions during the funeral for slain Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley at King Memorial Park.

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun

Police from multiple agencies line I-695 as a motorcycle procession leads the funeral procession for Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley.

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun

The American flag flying between Baltimore City Truck 6 and Baltimore County Truck 18 is reflected on a car in the funeral procession for Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley. Holley was gunned down in her police cruiser in December as she worked an overtime shift in Curtis Bay.

Police officers leave the Wylie Funeral home after paying their respects to fallen Baltimore City Police Officer Keona Holley, as others wait for their turn to enter. The public viewing for Officer Holley will continue on Monday, Jan. 10, and the funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 11. Officer Holley was fatally shot while parked in her police car in Curtis Bay on Dec. 16, and died one week later. Jan. 9, 2022 p1

A tear streams down Gendell Hayes’ cheek as she writes, “”Job well done…” on a poster of her friend, fallen Baltimore City Police Officer Keona Holley, at the Wylie Funeral Home. Hayes, of Baltimore City, became friends with Holley when they worked together in nursing at the Rosewood Center. Hayes said they had been making plans for a vacation to Jamaica this spring with a group of friends. Officer Holley was fatally shot while parked in her police car in Curtis Bay on Dec. 16, and died one week later. Jan. 9, 2022 p3 Jan. 9, 2022 p3

People line up to pay their respects to fallen Baltimore City Police Officer Keona Holley during the public viewing at the Wylie Funeral Home. The public viewing will continue on Monday, Jan. 10, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., followed by the funeral on Tuesday at the Baltimore Convention Center. Officer Holley was fatally shot while parked in her police car in Curtis Bay on Dec. 16, and died one week later. Jan. 9, 2022 p2

Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun

Baltimore City police commissioner Michael Harrison speaks during a news conference at police headquarters to announce the arrest of 2 suspects in yesterday’s shooting of Baltimore City police officer Keona Holley. December 17, 2021

Baltimore City States Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaks during a news conference at police headquarters to announce the arrest of 2 suspects in yesterday’s shooting of Baltimore City police officer Keona Holley. Dec. 17, 2021

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Police crime scene tape flutters in cold gusts of wind where the police vehicle crashed through a fence, plummeting into the park grass below as a group of mourners gather during a prayer vigil at Curtis Bay Park for Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley, currently on life support after being ambushed several days ago at the park.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

The destroyed fencing still has police tape attached at the top of the hill behind the group of attendees who begin a prayer vigil at Curtis Bay Park for Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley, currently on life support after being ambushed several days ago at the park Wed., Dec. 22, 2021. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Following the prayer vigil, Sharon Cottrell, organizer (left) and Shante Wells stand at the spot where Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley’s prowler plummeted down an embankment.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Attendees stand during a candlelight vigil outside the Southeastern Precinct for Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley, currently on life support after being ambushed several days ago by a gunman.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Wayne Adams of Dundalk stands with others during a candlelight vigil outside the Southeastern Precinct for Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley, currently on life support after being ambushed several days ago by a gunman.

Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun

Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician in chief at Shock Trauma, gives an update on the condition of Keona Holley, a Baltimore Police officer who was shot multiple times in Curtis Bay Thursday morning.

Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison crosses the street with Lawanda Sykes, sister of Keona Holley, a Baltimore Police officer who was shot multiple times in Curtis Bay.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Police stand by during a prayer vigil outside the Southeastern Precinct for Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley, currently on life support after being ambushed several days ago by a gunman.

Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison stands next to the family of Keona Holley, a Baltimore Police officer who was shot multiple times in Curtis Bay Thursday morning, during a press conference outside Maryland Shock Trauma.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison stands next to Lawanda Sykes, the sister of Keona Holley, a Baltimore Police officer who was shot multiple times in Curtis Bay Thursday morning, during a press conference outside Maryland Shock Trauma.

User Upload Caption: Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison stands next to Lawanda Sykes, the sister of Keona Holley, a Baltimore Police officer who was shot multiple times in Curtis Bay Thursday, during a press conference.

Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun

Lawanda Sykes, sister of Keona Holley, a Baltimore Police officer who was shot multiple times in Curtis Bay, speaks outside of Shock Trauma.

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun

Tiffany Doxanas, office manager at Drink at The Well in Curtis Bay holds her eleven-year-old child Sedi Doxanas, 11, during prayer at Curtis Bay Park for Baltimore Police officer Keona Holley.

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Working overtime in the Curtis Bay area that morning, Holley was ambushed and shot in her patrol vehicle, according to authorities. Fellow Baltimore Police officers responded around 1:30 a.m. to find Holley unresponsive behind the wheel of the cruiser. She had been shot four times, with bullets twice striking her in the head.

A 39-year-old mother of four, Holley died at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center about a week later. She had become a police officer to help improve her community, family, friends and colleagues recalled after her death.

Police got a call about gunfire in Southwest Baltimore around 3 a.m. the same morning Holley was shot. Responding officers found Johnson unresponsive in his 1997 Lincoln Town Car, sitting in the 600 block of Lucia Avenue in the Yale Heights neighborhood. Paramedics pronounced Johnson, who had been shot several times, dead at the scene.

By reviewing surveillance footage from the area of Holley’s shooting, detectives identified a suspect car that was registered to Knox, according to charging documents. Firearm examiners also analyzed cartridge casings recovered during the investigation, determining the same gun fired the .40 caliber casings found at both scenes.

Police and prosecutors also said Knox confessed in an interview with detectives, saying his accomplice was the only shooter. He also directed police to a house where he stored the guns used in the shootings.

Detectives found the guns when they searched the residence, according to court records. Firearms examiners found that the .40 caliber handgun investigators confiscated fired the casings of the same caliber found at both scenes. Officers also located .223 caliber casings near Johnson’s car and examiners said the gun of the same caliber recovered by detectives had fired those rounds.

The two men’s historical cellphone GPS data showed they were in the areas of both shootings at the time both occurred, police and prosecutors wrote in court documents.

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