Rodney Harris, age 27, was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter of his unborn son and 25 years for first degree assault of his girlfriend. After a three day trial, jurors found Harris guilty of manslaughter and assault in the first degree on October 10, 2019.
Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Jaskulski of the Special Victims Unit prosecuted the case.
On the morning of April 5, 2018, Baltimore City Police responded to an assault call at a residence on the 200 block of N. Dallas Court. They were not able to find any of the parties involved at the home, but were able to reach Harris via phone. Harris said he was on the way to the hospital with his girlfriend, who was 26 weeks pregnant at the time. Police then reported to Johns Hopkins Hospital and learned from the responding medics that the victim was severely beaten and Harris had visible cuts on his knuckles. The victim’s injuries included a broken jaw, a swollen right eye, lacerations to her lips, and bruises and cuts on her legs.
Officers spoke with the victim who told them that Harris beat her multiple times with his fist and kicked and punched her in the stomach for a period of twelve hours after an argument. The fetus was delivered still born shortly after the assault. A medical examiner determined that the unborn child was viable and that the death was the result of a violent assault to the victim and her stomach. Harris has a history of second degree assault, in addition to other offenses, dating back to 2011.
“Our Special Victims Unit prosecutors work tirelessly to remove violent and dangerous individuals from behind closed doors where they commit heinous crimes such as this. I am pleased with the outcome of this trial and I hope this is the first step of healing for this grieving mother,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.