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By Nick Madigan | nick.madigan@baltsun.com | December 1, 2009
A three-judge panel of Maryland's Court of Special Appeals on Monday tossed out the conviction of a man found guilty of murder last year in Baltimore County Circuit Court and ordered that he be tried again. Thomas B. Harris was accused of fatally stabbing another man, Karim Cross, in the parking lot of the Rush Hour Bar in Randallstown in the early hours of Aug. 13, 2006. A jury convicted Harris of second-degree murder and in May 2008 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. In his appeal, Harris, 35, questioned his conviction on various grounds, but the appeals court found cause for reversal in only one of his arguments: that the trial court abused its discretion when it refused to declare a mistrial after it became known that the defense had not been informed of a communication between a juror and the trial judge's secretary.
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NEWS
By Ian Duncan and The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2014
A Baltimore jury found a man police named as "Public Enemy No. One" guilty of murder Wednesday, his attorney said. Over a year ago, a police commander stood at a Greektown playground where Ramon Rodriguez, 21, was killed and branded Capone Chase, 20, as the department's most wanted suspect. State's attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said he was pleased by the outcome of the case. "Mr. Chase is a dangerous and cold-blooded individual," he said. "We hope this result brings some measure of closure to the victim's family and friends.
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NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2013
Maryland's second-highest court upheld on Monday political consultant Julius Henson's conspiracy conviction in a robocall scheme that prosecutors said was designed to suppress black votes. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals reaffirmed the conviction, writing that the case "presents us with a sad tale. " A judge wrote that Henson "and his collaborators callously attempted to manipulate members of the electorate. " Henson, 64, was found guilty in May 2012 of conspiracy to violate election law by not including an authority line from a robocall used as part of the campaign to elect Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Erhlich lost the election to incumbent Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells and The Baltimore Sun | September 25, 2014
A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a lawsuit brought against the Baltimore Police Department and three officers by a man who says he was wrongfully convicted of murder in a 1987 killing can proceed. James Owens was charged in the robbery, rape and murder of 24-year-old phone company employee and college student Colleen Williar in her Southeast Baltimore home. According to court records, Owens came under suspicion when a neighbor of Williar's, James Thompson, told police he found a knife outside Williar's apartment and retrieved it on behalf of Owens, a friend.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2011
A man who has been tried three times in the death of a 3-year-old girl has been denied a chance at a fourth trial with a ruling by the state's highest court affirming his latest conviction for involuntary manslaughter and child abuse. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that 31-year-old Erik Stoddard's conviction and 40-year prison sentence will stand in the 2002 fatal beating of Calen Faith Dirubbo in her Northeast Baltimore home. Police said the suspect was angry because he had been unable to toilet train the girl.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | December 22, 2010
The state's top court on Wednesday reinstated a sexual offense conviction of a man accused of forcing an Eastern Shore college student into a sex act. The Court of Appeals ruled a Somerset County jury could conclude that the woman telling Jason Mayers "no" and shoving him away to no avail during the earlier parts of a 2003 sexual encounter was enough evidence for a conviction of a second-degree sex offense. The woman had testified that she was frozen with fear and stopped resisting in the latter parts of the sex acts.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2011
Maryland's highest court on Thursday granted a new manslaughter trial to Ricky Savoy, saying that a jury instruction in his Baltimore trial in the 1993 death of Marvin Watts was improper. In a 5-2 ruling that overturned the conviction, the majority of the Court of Appeals judges wrote that a jury instruction lowered prosecutors' burden of proof from the familiar "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is what is constitutionally required. A judge told them that proof was also to be to a "moral certainty," which was explained as "based upon convincing grounds of probability.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2012
The state's highest court has overturned the second-degree murder conviction of Thomas B. Harris, convicted of fatally stabbing Karim Cross in a Randallstown bar in 2006, and ordered a new trial. The Court of Appeals agreed with a decision by the lower appeals court. Harris was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger said prosecutors would make a decision on "whether we can go forward" with retrying Harris, as they would have to find witnesses from six years ago. The court agreed with the lower appeals court ruling that the trial judge should have declared a mistrial.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert and Julie Scharper and Baltimore Sun reporters | December 3, 2009
A day after being convicted of embezzling gift cards for the needy, Mayor Sheila Dixon kept a low profile, remaining for hours at City Hall and ducking reporters' questions at her only public event late in the afternoon. "I'm not commenting," the mayor said Wednesday when asked about the possibility of resigning. She did not acknowledge another question about whether she would apologize to Baltimore residents for the disruption her trial has caused - a step former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and former Rep. Kweisi Mfume have publicly recommended.
NEWS
By Brian Sullam | July 16, 1991
A federal appeals court has overturned one of the two drug convictions against margarine heiress Sandra Filbert Amos.The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., struck down her conviction for conspiring to distribute cocaine but upheld her conviction on charges of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.In the same ruling, the court also overturned the guilty verdicts of her co-defendant Guillermo Moran on three drug conspiracy and possession charges.
NEWS
James O'Conor Gentry Jr | September 2, 2014
As one of two former prosecutors in the 1995 murder trial of then-police Sgt. James Kulbicki (" Ex-Baltimore Police sergeant granted new trial in murder of mistress," Aug. 27), I was outraged and incredulous to learn that the Court of Appeals of Maryland has, for the second time, reversed the conviction of a man who was tied by overwhelming evidence to the senseless and brutal execution of an innocent, young woman more than 19 years ago. Two juries have already found that on January 9, 1993, Gina Nueslein, just 22 years old at the time, was shot in the head by Sgt. Kulbicki for daring to ask him to provide child support for their 18-month old son. Evidence showed the police veteran abducted Nueslein and, as she sat in his pick-up truck, placed the barrel of his gun against her head and pulled the trigger.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
A man convicted in a 2010 fatal shooting at a Hess gas station in exchange for $9,000 argued unsuccessfully that he should get a new trial because the judge in his case had once been the target in a similar scheme. The Court of Special Appeals upheld Walter P. Bishop Jr.'s conviction in an opinion announced Tuesday. Bishop, now 32, was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 20 years for shooting William "Ray" Porter at a Joppa Road gas station in Towson on March 1, 2010.
NEWS
August 27, 2014
What if it turns out that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo. police officer, acted in self-defense and is exonerated ( "The $1,070 message," Aug. 26)? What would you say about his behavior then? The donation issue aside, The Sun appears to have already condemned Mr. Wilson. Your comment is irresponsible and divisive. If Officer Wilson's actions are proven lawful, The Sun and many others will be left with a lot of egg on your faces. Lenny Stetz, Parkville - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
By David L. Warnock and William H. Murphy, Jr | August 13, 2014
In Maryland, when you're charged with a crime, that information automatically enters the public record, easily accessible by anyone with an Internet connection - including prospective employers, landlords, credit card companies and others. In Baltimore, the vast majority of charges either are dismissed, result in the state's attorney declining to prosecute, or are indefinitely postponed by the courts. In 2013, only 17 percent of criminal cases in city district court resulted in convictions.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2014
A Parkville man was convicted Monday of conspiring to ship industrial components to Iran in violation of the U.S. trade embargo on that country, the U.S. attorney's office announced. After a two-week trial in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, a jury found Ali Saboonchi, 34, guilty of one count of conspiracy and seven counts of illegally transporting U.S.-manufactured goods and services to Iran, the federal prosecutor's office said. The United States has outlawed commerce with Iran since 1995.
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
A search is underway for a man who escaped from home detention in Belair-Edison this past week, according to the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Brian Cherry, 35, of the 2900 block of Erdman Avenue, was last seen Monday, officials said. Officials believe he cut off his ankle monitoring unit and left his home. Investigators said he is believed to be staying in the Northeast Baltimore area. Cherry, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds, is serving a five-year sentence for possession of a firearm.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2013
George Huguely V, the former University of Virginia lacrosse player convicted last year of drunkenly beating to death his girlfriend Yeardley Love, has asked the Virginia Court of Appeals to review his case. Huguely's attorneys argued in a petition filed Tuesday that the court violated Huguely's constitutional rights. Love, the victim, was from Cockeysville. "The circuit court's response to the intense media interest was to rush through the trial, rather than to ensure that the accused received a fair trial," Craig S. Cooley and Paul D. Clement, the attorneys, wrote in the petition.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | July 17, 2014
That's real nice about Martin O'Malley raising close to $800,000 from various supporters who apparently think he could go from Maryland governor to president of the United States some day, maybe even in 2016 if Hillary Clinton decides to become a Re/Max agent. With Maryland in his rear-view mirror, O'Malley continues to travel about the country, helping various Democratic incumbents who face battles in the upcoming midterm elections. That's So'Malley - selfless and always looking out for those who struggle.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | July 14, 2014
A jury has convicted a Pasadena man of abusing and raping a young girl over a three-year period in the 1990s, according to the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office. Charging documents had alleged that the girl was abused dozens of times between the ages of 4 and 8 at a home in Glen Burnie. She reported the abuse last year when she was 21 years old, according to documents. James Patrick Lawyer Sr., 62, of the 800 block of Neptune Drive was convicted Friday of child abuse, two counts of second-degree sex offense, three counts of third-degree sex offense, second-degree rape and unnatural or perverted practice.
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