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By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2010
A Baltimore teen convicted last month of shooting another in the arm and a 5-year-old girl in the head violated the conditions of his home detention about eight times, not the "more than a hundred" instances that defense and prosecution lawyers told the jury, a Baltimore Sun analysis shows. With the performance of the detention monitoring system key to his defense, the mistake could have severely hurt Lamont Davis' case and pushed the jury toward convicting him of attempted murder, legal experts said.
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NEWS
By Ian Duncan and The Baltimore Sun | October 7, 2014
As his second trial for the murder of 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes approaches, Michael Maurice Johnson took the witness stand Tuesday and testified that his former attorney told him he had to talk to police — bad advice his new lawyers say helped get him convicted. "He didn't give me an option," said Johnson, 30, his voice scratchy over the courtroom speakers. A Baltimore jury found Johnson guilty of second degree murder last year, but the verdict was overturned after a judge ruled that prosecutors withheld information about a key witness in the case.
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NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz and Baltimore Sun reporters | December 12, 2009
Lawyers for Sheila Dixon said Friday that the Baltimore mayor deserves a new trial because some jurors sent Internet messages to each other and lied about their past, while poor decisions by the judge led to confusing deliberations. The arguments came in a detailed motion for a retrial that represents the final claim the defense can make before Dixon is sentenced Jan. 21. She was convicted last week of one misdemeanor count of embezzlement for using gift cards intended for the needy.
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 Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2013
Circuit Judge Dennis M. Sweeney has denied former Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold's request for a new trial, saying the appeal was "without merit. " Leopold, 70, was convicted last month of misconduct in office. Sweeney, who presided over the trial, said Leopold broke the law when he ordered his taxpayer-funded police security detail to put up campaign signs, collect contributions and compile dossiers on perceived adversaries during his 2010 re-election campaign, and when he required county workers to drain the urinary catheter bag he used after back surgery.
NEWS
May 13, 2009
Attorneys for convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad returned to court Tuesday for a third round of appeals, telling a federal appeals panel that Muhammad should not have been allowed to represent himself for two days at the start of his trial. The sniper slayings that terrified the Washington region in 2002 provided the backdrop for the argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. It focused on whether Muhammad deserves a new trial because his attorneys should have told the judge there was evidence he was mentally incompetent to represent himself.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | January 30, 2010
A 30-year-old Baltimore man convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced a decade ago to life in prison was granted a new trial Friday because potentially exculpatory evidence - a single-page police report - was not revealed during the original proceeding. Tyrone Jones was a college student home on summer break when he was charged with killing a 15-year-old boy in 1998. A jury acquitted him of the killing but found him guilty of conspiring to participate, based on a witness identification and the inexact science of analyzing gunshot residue, a particle of which was found on his hands.
NEWS
By The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2011
Maryland's highest court on Thursday ruled in favor of an Orthodox Jewish plaintiff who missed part of a medical malpractice trial because it was scheduled during a two-day Jewish holiday. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court "abused its discretion by denying plaintiff's motions to suspend trial for two days," according to the opinion released this week. Attorney Thomas J. Macke argued the Montgomery County Circuit Court judges became more concerned with efficiency, trampling client Alexander Neustadter's religious freedom.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | July 28, 2010
Six years after pleading guilty in the torture death of a teenage girl, Satrina Roberts is asking for a new trial, claiming her attorney gave her bad advice and that her plea was involuntary. Roberts was sentenced to two consecutive 20-year prison terms in 2004 for murder and child abuse. A hearing on her petition for "post-conviction relief" was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, but it has since been postponed. Court papers say Roberts didn't understand the elements of her offenses, both because she had a clean criminal record and therefore "lacked familiarity with the terminology used in the courts" and because she "had a long history of mental health issues," along with an IQ of 56. Roberts was awarded legal guardianship of Ciara Jobes, who lived with her since 1998 because her own mother was dying of AIDS.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2013
The second trial for a Baltimore City police officer accused of illegally taping a conversation with a judge has been postponed until August. Prosecutors say Sgt. Carlos M. Vila, 46, violated Maryland's wiretap laws when he recorded a conversation between himself and District Court Judge Joan B. Gordon as they sparred over the urgency of a warrant application in a shooting investigation. But Vila's attorney, Catherine Flynn, argued that he only intended to record himself and captured the judge's voice by accident.
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
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | August 27, 2014
The state's highest court ordered a new trial Wednesday for a former Baltimore police sergeant convicted nearly two decades ago of murdering his young mistress - a ruling that could affect cases that relied on bullet testing used for decades until being debunked. Gina Nueslein, a 22-year-old clerk at a Royal Farms, became entangled with Sgt. James Kulbicki, who was 14 years her senior, in a relationship that soured as she sued him for child support. Twenty years later, Kulbicki has a chance to demonstrate the innocence he has maintained, but Nueslein's family must experience the ordeal of her death again.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 4, 2014
A Baltimore man convicted in the 2003 shooting deaths of two men at an Essex party was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison Wednesday, prosecutors said. Jaron Grade, 36, was first convicted by a jury in December 2004 and sentenced to life plus 20 years, but the Maryland Court of Appeals later overturned the conviction. The panel ordered a new trial because it found that a Baltimore County judge violated Grade's rights by replacing a juror with an alternate during his trial with no input from the defense.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | May 24, 2014
Rarely do drug traffickers pick up their phones and openly conduct their business, plainly stating the quantities of drugs they would like to buy and prices they would like to pay. Instead, they generally use coded language in an attempt to obscure their activities. And even when investigators think they know the meaning of the conversations they catch on wiretaps, they still have to convince a jury that they've interpreted the interactions correctly. The difficulty of that job was on display this month in the case of Danilo Garcia, who was accused of trafficking heroin from New York to Baltimore after a long surveillance operation.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2014
A city judge declined Thursday to order a new trial for the man found guilty of killing an 11-year-old girl in Northwest Baltimore more than four decades ago, a victory for prosecutors who sought to prevent the release of another high-profile perpetrator under a court ruling that has freed dozens of convicted murderers. The decision means Wayne Stephen Young will remain in prison for the 1969 abduction and death of Esther Lebowitz, a case that has kept the city's Jewish community on edge through years of appeals and challenges.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
After serving nearly 40 years in prison for a fatal shooting, Walter Lomax was released in 2006 amid questions about his trial. On Wednesday, he celebrated another milestone in his case, as prosecutors formally dropped the charges against him. Lomax, now 67, was sent to prison after being found guilty in the 1968 death of Robert L. Brewer, a night manager of a Brooklyn food market. A judge commuted his sentence eight years ago, citing problems with the evidence that led to his conviction.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2014
About 200 members of Baltimore's Jewish community packed courtroom benches Thursday, lined walls and stood single-file in aisles - some reading religious texts - amid growing concern over the potential release of the man who killed an 11-year-old girl in 1969. Emotions remain high in Northwest Baltimore more than 40 years after the murder of Esther Lebowitz. The latest appeal by Wayne Stephen Young, found guilty in her death and sentenced to life in prison, drew wide protest because a recent appellate court ruling has led prosecutors to release dozens of people convicted decades ago. The state is fighting to keep Young, now 68, locked up. In court Thursday, Assistant State's Attorney Antonio Gioia cited the disturbing nature of the crime - Lebowitz, missing for two days, was found beaten to death with a hammer.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | February 21, 2014
After being cleared of a murder for which he spent two decades in prison, Sabein C. Burgess spent some of his first free moments in a dingy carryout next to the city courthouse holding his baby granddaughter, with his family and lawyers swarming around. "There were a lot of times I didn't think I was going to get out," Burgess said. But the evidence - gathered over years - had reached a tipping point. Shortly after Burgess' conviction, another man confessed to carrying out the killing with a notorious hit man. Then two years ago, the victim's son, who witnessed the killing as a boy, came forward to say Burgess didn't do it. And the forensic evidence has been challenged as shaky.
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