Md. seeks ruling from Supreme Court in carjacking case

September 16, 2004|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Maryland's attorney general asked the U.S. Supreme Court this week to overturn a state court ruling that caused a high-profile homicide-carjacking case against an Annapolis teenager to fizzle.

The petition by Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. contends that Annapolis police did not violate the constitutional rights of Leeander Jerome Blake when they took his statements allegedly implicating himself in the 2002 killing of Straughan Lee Griffin at his home. Griffin was unloading groceries before dusk when he was shot in the head, robbed of the keys to his Jeep Grand Cherokee and run over by the vehicle.

With Curran's move, the future of the prosecution against Blake and the other suspect in the killing, Terrence Tolbert, rests with the high court. Tolbert's attorneys have asked the court to review a Maryland decision allowing his incriminating statements to be used.

Blake was freed in June after the Maryland Court of Appeals, ruling against prosecutors, found that police violated his constitutional rights by talking to him after he invoked his right to silence and a lawyer.

Maryland law requires that if the prosecution loses a pretrial appeal, charges must be dismissed and the defendant can't be charged again with the crime.

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