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Attorney Lucey’s client Robbery Charges Dismissed

On July 3, 2014, criminal defense lawyer Rand Lucey, convinced a Prince George’s Circuit Court judge to dismiss all charges in his client’s robbery case. Despite the State being prepared to go forward on that day, Mr. Lucey successfully argued that previous delays, caused by the State’s witnesses, violated his client’s constitutional right to a speedy trial. Such a result is particularly rare given that the case was still less than one year old.




First Degree Assault Charges and Peace Order Dismissed in Prince George’s County.

Prince George’s County Assault lawyer obtained a judgment of acquittal for a client that was originally charged with arson and first degree assault by her husband and had been incarcerated for 27 days. Defense attorney also appealed a protective order that a Prince George’s County District Court Judge had granted while the Jezic & Moyse client was incarcerated. On appeal of the protective order, defense lawyer convinced a Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge to throw out the entire order from district court. The defense subpoenaed jail records that showed his client’s husband, who had charged his client with arson and first degree assault, had visited her in jail even after the husband had asked a district court judge to order no contact. The Circuit Court judge found that, based on Defense’s cross examination, it was unbelievable that client’s husband would sit there calmly while, as he alleged, the Jezic & Moyse client was attacking him everywhere he went.




Prince George’s County Jury Acquits Jezic’s Client.

After a four-day jury trial and seven hours of deliberations, a Prince George’s County jury acquitted Mr. Jezic’s client of all counts regarding a series of sex offenses. Mr. Jezic’s four-hour cross examination of the victim proved to be vital.

Attorney Raquel Smith handled many of the defense witnesses during the aggressive defense presentation. In all, the defense called over 12 witnesses, attesting to the defendant’s stellar character. Despite some very damaging evidence against Mr. Jezic’s 46 year-old client, the jury found him not guilty on all counts.




Ruling of Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge affirmed

Sinclair v. State.

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently held that the limited, immediate search of an arrestee’s cell phone, pursuant to a lawful arrest, did not violate his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.  The Appellant was convicted in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County of various charges stemming from a carjacking in Temple Hills, Maryland.  The record reveals that minutes after the Appellant’s lawful arrest, the on-duty officer conducted a limited search of the cell phone found on his person.[1]  During the Appellant’s Circuit Court trial, defense counsel moved, in limine, to suppress the evidence seized from his phone.[2] The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County denied this motion, concluding that the search was valid incident to a lawful arrest.

On appeal, the Maryland Court struck down the Appellant’s claims, citing to a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.[3]  The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland balanced the Fourth Amendment rights of suspects against the need of law enforcement to preserve evidence when faced with nuances presented by modern technology.[4]  Here, the Court concluded that, because the search was close in time to the arrest and the officer “merely opened the appellant’s cell phone” to find the evidence on the screensaver, the search was valid under the Fourth Amendment.    

The Maryland Court also held that the introduction of other crimes evidence is proper, when the probative value outweighs any unfair prejudice that may arise.  Here, the Court reasoned that because both parties stipulated (and the jury knew) that Appellant was previously found guilty of a disqualifying crime, the introduction of other crimes evidence[5] related to this stipulation was not overly prejudicial.  Furthermore, use of this evidence was properly admissible for purposes of impeachment because it was related to a contested issue in the case.

 

 


[1] The evidence seized from the phone consisted of pictures found on Appellant’s screensaver which were later confirmed to be images of the stolen car.

[2] Defense counsel asserted that his Fourth Amendment rights protecting him against an unreasonable search and seizure when the arresting officer did not first obtain a warrant to search his phone.

[3] See United States v. Murphy, 552 F.3d 405, 411 (4th Cir. 2009) (holding “The need for the preservation of evidence justifies the retrieval of call records and text messages from a cell phone or pager without a warrant during a search incident to arrest.”).

[4] The Court made note that, because evidence, such as text messages, pictures, and the like, can be erased so easily and quickly, the need to preserve such evidence justifies the search of cell phones pursuant to a lawful arrest.

[5] At issue was a recorded phone call Appellant made to his probation officer.  At the trial level, defense counsel argued that the phone call’s prejudicial effect outweighed its probative value.




Charges Dropped Against Man Accused of Assaulting Girl, 8 in Prince George’s County.

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COURTS

Charges Dropped Against Man Accused of Assaulting Girl, 8

By Ruben CastanedaWashington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 10, 2007
 

Prince George’s County prosecutors yesterday dropped charges against a 35-year-old man who was accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl as she walked from a school bus stop to her Upper Marlboro home last fall.

The decision came after prosecutors obtained DNA test results that exonerated Andre C. King and read statements from defense witnesses who provided a solid alibi for him, said both Prince George’s State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey and Andrew V. Jezic, King’s defense attorney.

At the request of Assistant State’s Attorney Donine Gaynor, Circuit Court Judge Sherrie L. Krauser dismissed the charges of first- and second-degree rape against King.

King, who had been jailed without bond at the Prince George’s Detention Center since he was arrested shortly after the alleged attack in September, was to be released yesterday afternoon or evening, Jezic said.

Jezic said he commended Gaynor and Ivey during the brief court hearing. The alleged victim and her mother have continued to accuse King, even as evidence pointing to his innocence has mounted in recent weeks, Jezic said.

“The state’s attorney’s office in this case did everything right,” Jezic said. “We had many conversations about whether the defendant was innocent.”

Ivey said he decided that charges against King should be dropped because DNA evidence produced no connection between the defendant and the victim and because “the defense produced multiple, credible alibi witnesses.”

“We’re not only here to convict the guilty but to exonerate the innocent,” Ivey said.

DNA results from the county police lab became available about two weeks ago. Genetic material from a swab taken from the victim did not match King’s DNA, Jezic said.

Jezic and Ivey both said they believe the girl was sexually assaulted.

The incident occurred about 2:30 p.m. Sept. 28. The girl had stepped off a school bus and was walking through a neighbor’s back yard along Brimfield Drive when she was grabbed from behind by a man who threatened to kill her, then sexually assaulted her, the documents said.

The girl ran home and told her mother; police found King at his home about four blocks from where the girl said the attack occurred, Jezic said. Police brought the girl to see King, and she identified him as the attacker, according to police charging documents.

Private defense investigators located three witnesses who said King was in his back yard during the time the rape allegedly occurred. The witnesses said King was sitting in a chair from the time the school bus would have arrived until the time police arrested him, according to defense papers that were part of an unsuccessful motion to persuade a judge to grant King a bond.

Ivey said the investigation into the assault would continue.




Murder charges dropped in Prince George’s County nightclub slaying.

Murder charges dropped in Prince George’s County nightclub slaying

Prosecutors have now dropped all the murder charges stemming from a fatal shooting outside an Edmonston night club last March, saying that after they and police detectives completed their investigation, they simply could not prove who did what.

The upshot is this: no one is charged — or likely will ever be charged — with any type of homicide in the March 2011 shooting of 30-year-old Phillip J. Watson, who was gunned down in the parking lot of the Surf Club on Kenilworth Avenue after a fight inside. The man who police had initially accused of being the shooter — 25-year-old Malik Huff — did plead guilty to a first-degree assault charge, but that stemmed from the fight inside the club before the shooting, according to prosecutors and his defense attorney. He was sentenced to five years in prison Friday per his plea agreement, according to prosecutors and his defense attorney.

“The bottom line is we couldn’t prove who was responsible,” said John Erzen, a spokesman for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, “Basically, the assault charge is all that we were able to prove from the fight that happened inside the club.”

Erzen said prosecutors considered the case “done” and were not likely to charge anyone else with murder.

From the start, the court proceedings against Huff and his co-defendant, 25-year-old Frederick L. Scott, have been troubled. In November, Scott was mistakenly released on bond after courthouse clerks inadvertently put another man’s paperwork in his file. He was re-arrested later that month after he showed up — voluntarily — at a bond hearing.

Police and prosecutors had accused Scott of driving a car in the nightclub parking lot while Huff shot Watson, according to charging documents and Huff’s defense attorney. But on the third day of Huff’s jury trial last month, they dropped the murder charge against Scott and negotiated a deal with Huff — allowing him to plead guilty to first-degree assault in connection with the fight inside the club, said Andrew Jezic, Huff’s defense attorney.

Jezic said Huff, who had been facing a possible life sentence before the plea, agreed to spend five years in prison and was formally sentenced Friday. He said Huff also avoided prosecution on obstruction charges.

Jezic said Huff had “consistently” and “vehemently” maintained his innocence, and he was satisfied with the outcome.

“Mr. Huff is gratified that he has been, in effect, exonerated of any murder or gun charges,” Jezic said.

Scott’s defense attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Friday night.




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