February 15th, 2016
After a three day jury trial in Prince George's County, a 30 year veteran correctional officer was acquitted of all charges, including several felonies which would have carried five years without parole.
Andrew Jezic and Jamie Alvarado-Taylor cross-examined all of the State's witnesses in such a way as to show that the client's own testimony was corroborated. It was a difficult case because the State had two eyewitnesses as compared to one for the Defendant - himself.
The jury deliberated only three hours before liberating the 62 year old father of seven. He and his wife of 32 years were elated.Continue Reading
February 15th, 2016
Former Army Ranger enters plea in 2006 death of his roommate in Gaithersburg, avoiding third trial.
by Virginia Terhune
This story was updated at 5:20 p.m. May 18, 2015. It was corrected at 7:30 p.m. May 19, 2015. An explanation follows the story.
A former Army Ranger accused of killing his roommate in Gaithersburg in 2006 has reached a plea agreement that lets him go free after serving more than five years in prison.
On Thursday, Gary James Smith, 32, now living in Olney, entered an Alford plea in Montgomery Circuit Court to involuntary manslaughter in the death of fellow soldier Michael McQueen.
An Alford plea means Smith does not admit guilt but acknowledges that there is evidence that could convict him.
Twice, Smith was convicted of killing McQueen, but both convictions were thrown out on appeal. A third trial had been scheduled for this month.
As part of the agreement, Smith pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless endangerment.
“He wanted a compromise that would end this,” his attorney, Andrew Jezic, said Thursday about the agreement reached with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and McQueen’s family.
The end result i...Continue Reading
February 15th, 2016
By Dan Morse
October 27, 2015
A 56-year-old Maryland man was found not guilty on all charges Tuesday after being accused of fondling a 5-year-old girl at a home day-care center owned by the man’s daughter and wife.
“I am very satisfied,” Manuel Aguilar-Morales said after the verdict. “The jury accepted the truth that I am innocent.”During the six-day trial, Aguilar-Morales’s attorney called as character witnesses eight parents whose children went to the day care. One of them, Steve Hadeed, said in an interview that he never doubted Aguilar-Morales’s innocence. “There are no other people in the world I would trust more to care for my children than the Aguilar-Morales family, and that includes Manuel,” Hadeed said.Andrew Jezic, an attorney for Aguilar-Morales, said his client had several roles at Ariana’s Learning and Play Family Child Care in Silver Spring. He cooked meals for his daughter, his wife and the children. He cleaned rooms and performed maintenance. After returning from his own job — landscaping and construction work — he would help watch the children when t...Continue Reading
September 30th, 2015
Our client had just been bonded out of jail when the Baltimore City Police department swooped in and arrested him for an attempted murder that occurred on March 3, 2015. He was held on a no bail status. Our client was not the person who had committed this crime. He was in Cumberland Maryland on March 3, 2015. We were able to subpoena video records from a Sheetz store in Cumberland Maryland that showed our client in their store at the time of the crime. We supplied this to the State’s Attorney’s Office, but they were still not convinced.
We subpoenaed phone records from different providers to try to show where our client was at the time of the incident. The state was slow to give up the discovery. We went to the prosecutor’s office to give them the Sheetz video and try to get the discovery. We were advised that the victim and another had made identifications of the defendant as the perpetrator, but they were unable to give us the discovery at that time. Our client had now been sitting in jail for over two months. We continued to ask for the discovery and identifications through the arraignment and the first trial date. The prosecutor assigned to the case then gave the case to ...Continue Reading
September 29th, 2015
Partner Rand Lucey and Immigration Attorney Himedes Chicas recently served as faculty presenters at the day-long Immigration and Criminal Defense Institute, which was attended by over 120 attorneys and legal professionals who represent noncitizen clients in criminal and immigration proceedings. Attorney Lucey presented at a panel focusing on post-conviction strategies, providing participants with advice on pursuing post-conviction remedies for their clients in the State of Maryland. Attorney Chicas presented on another panel focusing on obtaining discretionary relief from removal for clients facing deportation in immigration court. The Immigration and Criminal Defense Institute was organized and sponsored by the Maryland Office of the Public Defense Immigration Program, the D.C. Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, the D.C. Public Defender Service, and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, among others.Continue Reading
September 28th, 2015
On Wednesday, September 23, 2015, Attorney Jamie Alvarado-Taylor
successfully defended a Montgomery County mother against allegations of abuse by her children’s father. The father, an Alleghany County resident, had filed a petition for a protective order against the mother on behalf of the parties’ ten year old child citing that the mother assaulted the son over the course of 15 minutes at a local Montgomery County water park while the father watched helplessly. Attorney Alvarado-Taylor was able to challenge the father’s credibility as an eye-witness and convince the judge that the charges were retaliatory and an overreaction from the father. The judge acknowledged that the mother has certain leeway in disciplining her child and agreed that the father’s timing of the filing of the charges was suspicious, given that it came a full month after the alleged assault and just days after the mother filed for a custody modification.Continue Reading
September 2nd, 2015
Motions hearings set on recusal, venue in Freddie Gray cases
By: Heather Cobun
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer, August 30, 2015
After a summer of combative court filings, the case against the six Baltimore police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray will begin moving forward in Baltimore City Circuit Court on Wednesday with the first of two pretrial motions hearings scheduled over the course of eight days.
Local defense lawyers not involved in the case say the attorneys for the officers continue to show a united front, including submitting joint motions, with no signs that will change.
“I don’t anticipate any one of these officers will point his or her finger at another officer,” said Steven H. Levin, a former federal prosecutor.
Levin, of Levin & Curlett LLC in Baltimore, said that as...Continue Reading
August 19th, 2015
In July, DC criminal attorney David Wooten
convinced a very tough judge in D.C. Superior Court to acquit his client of two counts of assault, for an altercation that occurred at the Green Turtle restaurant outside the Verizon Center, after a Washington Capitols hockey game. Mr. Wooten's client was on parole for a prior felony assault, and could have been sent back to prison for an additional 7 years if convicted. Upon hearing the verdict, observers in the courtroom appeared shocked. They couldn't believe that this tough judge did not believe the 4 Government witnesses who testified as to the assault that split one young man's eye open. But Mr. Wooten was not the least bit surprised. Justice was served.Continue Reading
August 19th, 2015
In July, a Prince George's County judge made a rare decision to credit the testimony of attorney David Wooten's
client over a detective's testimony, and to suppress the defendant's confession, which led to the discovery of cocaine hidden in a wall. Mr. Wooten's client was facing certain jail and deportation if convicted of felony possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. As Mr. Wooten learned a long time ago by reading Andrew Jezic's
book Maryland Law of Confessions
, it is a rare feat to convince a judge to suppress a confession. A week after this victory, the entire case was dismissed and Mr. Wooten's client got to remain in the United States a free man.Continue Reading