April 9, 2009

Cumberland Second-Degree Murder Charges Against Former Teacher

The Baltimore Sun reports in an article that former middle school teacher Cory Yantz, 37, of Cumberland, MD, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The charges stem from the stabbing death of Yantz’s wife, 34-year-old Tanya Yantz, who was killed last August.

In order to understand the difference between first and second degree murder in Maryland, a close reading of the statutes governing first degree murder is required. Maryland retains an older distinction between first and second degree murder which dates from United States common law. A murder is in the first degree if it meets at least one of the following four criteria:

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