The Pasadena homeowner accused of fatally shooting a man trespassing on his property last year had gone out of his way to help the carpenter and had given him an opportunity to turn his life around, a defense attorney said at the beginning of his murder trial Monday.
But Jeffrey Dickinson showed up at the suburban property in Pasadena deranged, drunk and under the influence of drugs, attorney Peter O’Neill said. Gregory Korwek tried everything to deter him but Dickinson ignored his instruction to stay away, threatened him and showed up on a motor scooter Korwek gifted him with “evil intent on his mind.”
Only after he’d called the police and retreated into his garage, did Korwek unleash a blast from his Mossberg shotgun. His fear was palpable and it was reasonable to resort to deadly force, O’Neil told the jury during opening arguments in Annapolis.
Dickinson, 44, died outside the house on Orr Court on the morning of Sept. 18, 2019. Scores of Anne Arundel County police officers responded to the scene. Detectives canvassed the cul-de-sac, diving into a months-long investigation. Korwek first faced dozens of firearms and drug offenses. Weeks later, police filed charges for a much more serious crime: murder.
The firearms and drug offenses were split into another case, which will be tried in November. In the meantime, it’s up to the jury to decide if the fatal shooting amounts to second-degree murder, manslaughter, or an acquittal on grounds of self-defense. Korwek, 41, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of possessing the shotgun despite being convicted of a disqualifying offense years before.
Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Steinhardt said Korwek was “lying in wait armed with a shotgun. That does not become self-defense, ladies and gentleman of the jury, because it happened in (Korwek’s) driveway.”
Steinhardt told jurors they’d have to decide whether Korwek’s self-defense was “reasonable and proportional.” Deadly force would be difficult to justify, Steinhardt said, because Dickinson was found to have been unarmed.
Defense paints Pasadena homeowner as a ‘saint’ before shooting acquaintance in self-defense. Prosecutors say he was laying in wait with a shotgun.
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