DENTON — The man facing murder and firearm charges in connection with the fatal shooting of a man on the street in Denton in July 2020 waived his right to a jury trial, according to court records.

Jamaine V. Cheers, 34, of Denton, who faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, use of a firearm in a felony/violent crime, carrying concealed deadly weapon, carrying a handgun, carrying a loaded handgun and reckless endangerment, elected to waive his right to a jury trial during a status hearing in the Caroline County Circuit Court on Nov. 24. Cheers was originally scheduled for a two-week jury trial in December 2021.

The charges stem from a fatal shooting in the area of High Street and Fourth Street in Denton on July 1, 2020. Shortly before 6:30 p.m. that day, Denton Police were called to investigate an assault in progress.

After arriving, officers found the victim, James M. Wilmer, 30, of Denton, lying in the road suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. After initial treatment from local EMS, Wilmer was transported by a Maryland State Police helicopter to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died from his injuries on July 2.

An autopsy from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in July 2020 ruled Wilmer’s death a homicide caused by a gunshot wound.

State police issued an arrest warrant for Cheers just a few days after the shooting. Cheers was arrested by U.S. Marshals near the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on July 30, 2020. He was held in a New Jersey county jail before being extradited to the Caroline County Detention Center, where he has been since.

A judge found probable cause for the charges against Cheers during a preliminary hearing held in the Caroline County District Court in September 2020. A criminal information charging Cheers for the murder of Wilmer was filed in the Caroline County Circuit Court later that month.

Court records from Nov. 17, 2020, indicated the state intended to seek a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Cheers.

Cheers remains held without bond in the Caroline County Detention Center. His plea hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22 at 1 p.m.

Natalie Jones is a reporter at The Star Democrat in Easton covering crime, health, education and Talbot County Council. You can reach her with questions, comments or tips at njones@chespub.com.

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