March 19, 2013

Prince George’s County Teen Charged in Murder of Olney Teen

As reported by gazette.net, Maryland Community News Online, a Prince George’s County teen was indicted on Thursday, March 14, 2013, in the death of an 18-year-old. According to Bill Miller, spokesman for the District of Columbia Attorney’s Office, the accused teen is being charged as an adult in the stabbing attack.

The incident occurred in the Woodley Park Metro station in Adams Morgan last November. The victim died at a local hospital from injuries sustained. A grand jury in District of Columbia Superior Court indicted the teen, charging him with a series of charges: armed robbery, conspiracy, assault with significant injury of a person, assault with a dangerous weapon, a firearms offense, and, most seriously, with felony murder.

Continue reading "Prince George’s County Teen Charged in Murder of Olney Teen" »

March 8, 2013

Bill to Repeal Maryland’s Death Penalty Likely to Pass in Maryland Senate

Governor Martin O’Malley’s gun-control bill passed in the Maryland Senate on Thursday, February 28th, 2013. Additionally, as reported in The Washington Post and published on March 1st, O’Malley’s bill to repeal the death penalty survived an early test. As both votes were debated, police barricades blocked surrounding streets due to the presences of hundreds of activists on both sides of the issues in question.

In the Senate, the debate regarding whether or not to abolish capital punishment in Maryland became as emotional as it was for activists out on the streets. Senators, in a vote of 19 to 27, turned back an amendment to the bill that would have allowed the death penalty to still be applied in some specific cases such as murders which involve rape. That vote suggests that the Governor’s bill to repeal Maryland’s death penalty will likely pass.

Continue reading "Bill to Repeal Maryland’s Death Penalty Likely to Pass in Maryland Senate" »

February 11, 2013

Cell Phone Tower Data Used in Recent First-degree Murder Trial in Baltimore Circuit Court

Wire-tapped phone conversations, texts, and cell phone tower data were introduced as evidence in the first-degree murder trial of Michael Maurice Johnson in Baltimore Circuit Court, which ended in a guilty verdict for the second-degree murder of Phylicia Barnes.

Police say the communications and tower data helped track the accused’s movements the day in December, 2010, when Phylicia Barnes disappeared. As reported in The Baltimore Sun, on December 28th, when the 16-year-old disappeared, more than 50 cell phone calls or texts were made by Michael Johnson.

The skilled attorneys at the law firm of Alpert Schreyer understand the seriousness of a murder charge and can help protect the rights of the accused as they provide aggressive legal defense.

Continue reading "Cell Phone Tower Data Used in Recent First-degree Murder Trial in Baltimore Circuit Court" »

January 21, 2013

Governor Martin O’Malley Moves to Repeal Death Penalty in Maryland

According to The Wall Street Journal, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is pushing to ban capital punishment in the state. At a news conference in Annapolis, the Governor stated that the death penalty does not prevent violent crimes such as murder and that, in fact, the incident rates for murder in states that have capital punishment are higher.

The Governor plans to introduce a bill into the legislature for the full repeal of Maryland’s death penalty. If the bill passes, Maryland would join the five other states that have abolished the death penalty as of 2007. These states include New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, and New Mexico. The majority of the nation still practices capital punishment.

Continue reading "Governor Martin O’Malley Moves to Repeal Death Penalty in Maryland" »

October 4, 2012

D.C. Man Arrested, Charged in Fatal Beating of Cousin Following Dispute

According to a report by The Washington Post, a fugitive squad recently arrested a suspect wanted for a fatal beating on May 26, which left one man dead. The two men involved in this case were cousins and close friends since childhood, but police report that after a night of drinking, an argument between the two escalated and turned into a fistfight and then a killing when one of the men slammed the other’s head into “the pavement of the street.” The deadly beating happened at Abbey Place and L Street NE, approximately five blocks from where the 25-year-old victim lives with his grandmother in Washington D.C.

Documents filed in D.C. Superior Court indicate that the cousins were outside drinking around 4 a.m. after returning from a club. After reportedly being thrown to the ground, the victim fell unconscious but eventually came to and asked for help, and relatives drove him to Washington Hospital Center. Authorities report the young man went into a coma May 29 and died June 4, and his death was ruled as a homicide by blunt-force trauma.

Continue reading "D.C. Man Arrested, Charged in Fatal Beating of Cousin Following Dispute" »

September 6, 2012

Alleged Baltimore School Shooter Indicted on 29 Counts

As reported by WFTV.com, a 15-year-old high school sophomore was recently indicted by a Baltimore County grand jury on 29 counts related to the shooting of a classmate. The report notes that the high school student brought an antique shotgun to Perry Hall High School, a suburban Baltimore school, on the first day of classes and fired two shots. The first shot struck and critically wounded a 17-year-old classmate who was seated at a lunch table with several other students.

The alleged shooter fired a second shot into the ceiling as a guidance counselor and other employees tried wrestling the gun away from him.

Continue reading "Alleged Baltimore School Shooter Indicted on 29 Counts" »

June 20, 2012

Cannibalism Suspect in Maryland Faces Criminal Charges for Earlier Attack

A 21-year-old college student already facing criminal charges for an attack in May has now been charged with more serious offenses for the horrific assault and cannibalistic murder of a 37-year-old male. The 21-year-old suspect attacked another student at Baltimore’s Morgan State University in May, hitting him with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire and chains as he walked into the attacker’s apartment. Friends of the victim who followed the blood trail from the door to the backroom said they found the attacker standing over him with a knife, according to a Delmarvanow.com news report. The suspect faces assault and reckless endangerment charges for the university dorm attack.

Days after the May attack, the victim learned that his attacker had allegedly used the same knife to kill and “carve” a 37-year-old man before eating his heart and brain. The murder victim, a Ghana native, had been staying at the family home of the attacker for six weeks when he disappeared on May 25. A Baltimore grand jury has indicted the suspect on numerous charges stemming from the Morgan State University attack including first and second degree attempted murder, first and second degree assault, and a MD weapons offense. He also faces murder and assault charges in the killing of the Ghana native.

Continue reading "Cannibalism Suspect in Maryland Faces Criminal Charges for Earlier Attack" »

May 16, 2012

Homeless Man Shoots 2 at Maryland Episcopal Church, Turns Gun on Himself

A disgruntled homeless man fatally shot a secretary and critically wounded a priest at an Ellicott City church, according to a Delmarvanow.com news report. The homeless man, described as “argumentative and belligerent,” was reportedly turned away from a food bank because of increasingly aggressive behavior, which authorities believe may have been the motive for the shooting. After shooting the 59-year-old female secretary and the 62-year-old female priest for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the man killed himself in the woods where he lived with a handgun near the church, approximately 14 miles west of Baltimore.

The secretary, a resident of Ellicott City who worked for the church for seven years, was pronounced dead at the church after a custodian discovered the tragic scene and contacted police. Police and hospital officials report that the priest, who had been co-rector of the parish since 2009, was in critical condition at Shock Trauma in Baltimore after the shooting but later passed away. At the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland’s annual convention, the fatal shooting provoked anger, grief, and prayerful reflection. A Maryland bishop stated the anger was directed at a society that allowed a mentally ill individual to have a handgun.

Continue reading "Homeless Man Shoots 2 at Maryland Episcopal Church, Turns Gun on Himself" »

February 16, 2012

Arrest Made in Maryland Fatal Double-Shooting for First-Degree, Attempted Murder

According to The Baltimore Sun, police have arrested the suspect in a shooting that left one man dead and another hospitalized. The 19-year-old suspect has been charged with first-degree and attempted murder for the shooting which occurred in the 5700 block of Nasco Place. The Sun reports that the suspect was in the backseat of a car with the two victims and shot both men during an argument. Currently, police do not know what caused the argument and are unable to confirm what the relationship is between the alleged shooter and the two men, though the sister of the surviving victim says the alleged shooter worked at a youth program that the deceased victim worked for as a mentor.

The arrested suspect has had prior run-ins with the law, having previously been charged with drug possession last fall and assault in 2008, though both cases were apparently dropped by prosecutors. If the young man in this case is convicted, he may face the possibility of life in prison without parole for the first-degree murder charge. An attempted murder charge in the state of Maryland can carry with it either life imprisonment for a first-degree attempted murder charge or up to 30 years in prison for attempted murder in the second-degree.

Continue reading "Arrest Made in Maryland Fatal Double-Shooting for First-Degree, Attempted Murder" »

January 18, 2012

Suspected MD Serial Killer Sentenced to 100 Years in Prison

A suspected serial killer was recently sentenced to 100 years in prison for committing dozens of violent crimes in Maryland’s Prince George County, according to The Washington Examiner. The 28-year-old former UPS worker was convicted in federal court of carjacking, child pornography and weapons charges for his role in more than nine home invasions and 50 burglaries that occurred between 2007 and 2009.

The convicted man was accused of using a UPS database to look up homes he wanted to target, cutting phones lines to disable alarm systems, and then breaking windows to gain access to the residence or entering homes through unlocked doors. During the crimes, described as “increasingly violent,” the 28-year-old took computers, credit cards, phones, and televisions, among other items.

Continue reading "Suspected MD Serial Killer Sentenced to 100 Years in Prison" »

October 19, 2011

First Case to be Tried Under Revised Maryland Death Penalty Law

A 29 year-old Essex resident has been accused of shooting and killing a Towson gas station owner in a murder-for-hire scheme. He is one of six people implicated in this killing, including the gas station owner’s wife as well as her brother, sister, and nephew, according to the Baltimore Sun. Court documents state that the wife promised the Essex resident more than $9,000 for the killing of her husband. The case is due in court this week, and as prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in this murder case, it will likely be the first death penalty trial under Maryland’s revamped death penalty law.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the new state statute, which went into effect 2 years ago, says that the death penalty may only be sought in cases where there is “DNA or other biological evidence, a video-taped confession, or a video recording that conclusively links the defendant to the murder”. In the case of the Essex resident, prosecutors have a videotaped recording of the defendant, taken at the Baltimore County police Headquarters on March 6, 2010, ultimately confessing to the crime of killing the gas station owner at a Maryland Hess Station five days earlier on the morning of March 1. However, in an attempt to not get the death penalty in this murder case, the defendant’s attorneys state that he was never told he was being videotaped and what consequences he may face because the confession was on tape. Essentially, the man’s video confession makes him eligible for the death penalty under the revised statute.

Continue reading "First Case to be Tried Under Revised Maryland Death Penalty Law" »

July 8, 2011

Man Convicted of Murder Accuses Baltimore Court of Wrongdoing

In a Baltimore County Circuit Court, a 31-year old man convicted of murder made statements during sentencing implying that he had been treated unfairly by court officials, according to the Baltimore Sun. The man was found guilty of first degree murder of his 23-year-old girlfriend.

During the sentencing hearing, the man accused the judge, prosecutors and detectives of lying, ignoring evidence that would have helped his case and conspiring against him. The man looked at the judge while saying, “You all just wanted to blame me—you all just wanted to set me up.” The man also referred to mistakes and omissions he felt were made by the state in their case against him. “All these stories that I was abusive and that I gave her a black eye—all that’s a lie,” claimed the man. He also criticized the way his lawyer handled the case.

Continue reading "Man Convicted of Murder Accuses Baltimore Court of Wrongdoing" »

February 28, 2011

Jury Recommends Death Sentence in Killing of Delaware Police Officer

A jury ruled that a 24 year old man should be sentenced to the death penalty for shooting a Delaware police officer, according to The Washington Post. The jury was split, with seven jurors recommending the death penalty, and five recommending he receive life in prison. The judge will make the final decision in May.

The shooting occurred in 2009. The convicted man allegedly shot at an individual identified as a drug dealer, whom he was trying to rob in a fast food restaurant’s parking lot. Two police officers began pursuing a car carrying the man and two others, and one of the officers was shot during the pursuit. During the trial, defense attorneys argued that the man suffers from brain damage in addition to being the victim of constant abuse as a child.

Continue reading "Jury Recommends Death Sentence in Killing of Delaware Police Officer" »