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By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2010
Attorneys for a Baltimore man sentenced to life in prison nearly 40 years ago argued for his freedom Tuesday, claiming that police pressured Jesse Barnes — then a scared and "mentally deficient" teenager — into making a false murder confession. "The circumstances of this case are tragic, and we think there's been a wrong of some great magnitude," defense attorney Michael Imbroscio said during his closing statement Tuesday in a post-conviction hearing that has dragged on over multiple days for more than a year.
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NEWS
By Carrie Wells and The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2014
Baltimore police charged a Parkville man Saturday in the stabbing of two Ottobar employees — one of them fatally — the day before, according to charging documents. Nicholas Brandon Heath, 32, of the 2500 block of Windsor Road has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Tom Malenski, 35, early Friday at the Remington concert venue. Malenski, an employee of the bar in the 2500 block of N. Howard St., was attending a concert on his night off when he helped a co-worker break up a fight and removed a patron, according to police and the bar's owner.
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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | October 8, 2009
Mark Castillo and his three children spent the day downtown, at the Maryland Science Center, before he checked into the Marriott Inner Harbor hotel at Camden Yards about 5 p.m. March 29, 2008, according to a statement he gave police at Maryland Shock Trauma Center a day later. By then, the children were dead, and Castillo was recovering from self-inflicted stab wounds to his neck. "My plan," he said on the tape, "was after [we] had a good day, to, uh, take their lives." The tape was played during a hearing Wednesday on a defense motion to suppress Castillo's statements to detectives.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2014
Police and prosecutors are confident that Michael Bernard Small killed a woman over the weekend — they say he told them as much, and was arrested and charged. But they just don't know the identity of the woman he killed. Small, 45, walked early Sunday into the Police Department's Central District — adjacent to headquarters, on East Baltimore Street — where, sweating and nervous, he asked to speak with an officer in private, police wrote in court records. When Officer Emiljana Kodra asked him what the problem was, he allegedly wrote on a piece of paper: "I think I killed someone.
NEWS
By Alan J. Craver and Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer | December 18, 1992
A Marriottsville man was the target of a carefully planned police interrogation designed to trigger him into confessing to his role in the death of his wife, his attorneys contended.Lawyers for John Carroll Calhoun said that county prosecutors should not be allowed to use the confession at his trial because the police used deception to obtain it.Howard Circuit Judge Dennis Sweeney considered the matter as the hearing -- which opened in October -- concluded yesterday. The judge said he will decide by Jan. 6 whether Mr. Calhoun's statements may be used against him.Mr.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | September 11, 2013
Matthew Cordle does not want your admiration. He knows some people are finding inspiration in his courage. We are told this upsets him. He thinks they're missing the point. The point is, he killed someone. Vincent Canzani was a 61-year-old photographer, Navy veteran and father of two daughters. In the pre-dawn hours of June 22, he was traveling on I-670 in Columbus, Ohio, when his Jeep was struck head-on by a Toyota Tundra speeding east in the westbound lanes. Mr. Canzani died at the scene.
NEWS
By David Conn | January 28, 1992
Responding to a controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that said a criminal conviction doesn't have to be overturned simply because a coerced confession was part of the evidence, the House of Delegates today passed a bill aimed at strengthening the rights of defendants.By a vote of 86-40, the delegates approved a measure that says a court cannot convict a defendant if a coerced confession has been admitted as evidence. Even if all the other evidence in the case besides the confession was enough to convict the defendant, the bill states, the conviction must be overturned on appeal.
NEWS
By Chris Guy and Chris Guy,SUN STAFF | March 16, 2000
CHESTERTOWN -- A judge will decide tomorrow whether the confession of a Laurel man accused of killing his two young children last fall can be used against him and whether the case should be thrown out because Talbot County officials deliberately stalled a psychiatric examination that could have provided crucial evidence. In a third day of pretrial testimony yesterday, state police detectives revealed details of a confession made by Richard Wayne Spicknall II, who at first told officers that a car-jacker pushed him from the Choptank River Bridge near Cambridge and kidnapped his children.
NEWS
January 29, 1992
ANNAPOLIS -- The Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill yesterday aimed at reversing a controversial Supreme Court decision holding that some criminal convictions can stand even if it turns out that coerced confessions from the defendant were used to help convict him.The House voted 86-40 in favor of the measure, sponsored by Del. John S. Arnick, D-Baltimore County. The bill says no criminal conviction can be upheld if the evidence in the trial included a confession that is found to have been involuntary.
NEWS
By Darren M. Allen and Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer | October 22, 1992
A 31-year-old Westminster woman admitted to police that she fondled her then-15-year-old foster son on at least two occasions in the last year.But the woman's attorney argued yesterday that the confession was made only after she believed she was promised lenient treatment by the police and after the detective conducting the interview threatened to take her 10-year-old son away from her.In an evidence suppression hearing before Circuit Judge Raymond E....
NEWS
By Sean Hannigan | December 19, 2013
My wife thinks I'm incredibly rude because I never introduce her to anyone I'm talking to. She comes up, listens in, waits on the introduce-me square - and I know what she's waiting for, what they're both waiting for - but there's nothing I can do, and I always end up feeling like, and seeming like, a jerk. There is a syndrome where you can't remember names. Two percent of the population has it, and while my case may not be the as severe as some, I'm on the spectrum. Of course I have no idea of what the name of this syndrome is. But it's real.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | September 11, 2013
Matthew Cordle does not want your admiration. He knows some people are finding inspiration in his courage. We are told this upsets him. He thinks they're missing the point. The point is, he killed someone. Vincent Canzani was a 61-year-old photographer, Navy veteran and father of two daughters. In the pre-dawn hours of June 22, he was traveling on I-670 in Columbus, Ohio, when his Jeep was struck head-on by a Toyota Tundra speeding east in the westbound lanes. Mr. Canzani died at the scene.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | May 14, 2013
A Baltimore teenager pleaded guilty to murder Monday as his trial was set to begin, following a failed attempt last week to have a confession withheld from jurors in the case. Markell Shelton Jones, 18, shot and killed Freddie Jones Jr. at the Yau Brothers Chinese carryout on Greenmount Avenue on Halloween 2011 during a bungled robbery attempt. The attack was captured on surveillance cameras and police released the footage to the press. After Markell Jones' family recognized him on television, his grandfather called police to have him taken into custody, according to testimony at a motions hearing last week.
FEATURES
The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2013
On the "Confessions" section of scarymommy.com , Jill Smokler lets other moms share their most intimate thoughts and concerns anonymously. The results can be comforting ("I do that, too!") but also disturbing ("So, wait, you think your ex-boyfriend is actually the father of your baby but you're kind of fine with it because your husband is cheating on you with your sister?") We asked Smokler, "Do you ever read a confessional and think, 'OK, you are absolutely nuts?'" "Oh, yeah," she said.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | May 7, 2013
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled that a jury will be able to hear the taped confession of a teenage defendant in a murder case, rejecting his lawyers' claim that the police had coerced the statement from him. Markell Shelton Jones and his mother, Lakisha Jones, testified Monday that they had been influenced by police, an argument Robert Linthicum, Jones' attorney, made again Tuesday. "The whole thing basically reeks of coercion," he said. But Judge M. Brooke Murdock said police had done nothing improper in the way they conducted the interviews and said she did not find the defendant's mother credible.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2013
The family of 17-year-old Markell Jones was watching the television news one night in November 2011, authorities say, when the broadcaster introduced surveillance tape footage of the killing of an Army veteran inside a Greenmount Avenue carryout. Relatives recognized Jones on the tape, authorities say. After talking it over, they called police, and Markell gave a full confession - and a written letter of apology to the victim's daughter. It appeared to be a clean, closed case.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,sun reporter | March 13, 2007
Federal prosecutors will be allowed to use an Annapolis teenager's confession to police in a notorious 2002 fatal carjacking in Annapolis' upscale historic district, a U.S. District Court judge in Baltimore ruled yesterday. The decision by Judge William M. Nickerson was a setback for the defense of Leeander Jerome Blake and a victory that had eluded state prosecutors, costing them a murder case. State courts ruled the confession inadmissible; federal authorities later charged Blake with carjacking resulting in death and related counts.
NEWS
By Kris Antonelli and Kris Antonelli,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Dennis O'Brien contributed to this article | March 10, 1994
A man who confessed nearly nine months after his truck hit and killed a pedestrian cannot be charged with auto manslaughter because there is not enough evidence, the county state's attorney's office said yesterday.After reviewing the evidence in the March 26, 1993, accident, prosecutors said that Steven James Payton, 37, of the 7400 block of Furnace Branch Road in Glen Burnie could only be charged with negligent driving and failing to stay at the scene of a fatal accident.A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident carries a maximum one-year jail sentence.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 15, 2013
I like Oprah Winfrey, and I was happy to see her Tuesday morning on CBS with her old pal, Gayle King, hitting on all cylinders as they hyped the gate for her interview with Lance Armstrong. She promised King, Charlie Rose and everyone else on the last-place morning show set, "You will be satisfied," by the interview that airs Thursday night on the OWN cable channel. "You will come away understanding that he brought it," she said, though she did hedge on the  specific extent of his confession versus her expectations.
EXPLORE
By L'Oreal Thompson | September 10, 2012
As a self-described hopeless romantic, it's no surprise that Ellicott City resident Stephanie Verni recently published a love story. Earlier this year, Verni, 47, added author to her already extensive résumé, which includes her current position as an assistant professor of business communications at Stevenson University, where she teaches courses in magazine, feature and public relations writing. Before that she spent 13 years as a publishing professional for the Baltimore Orioles.
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