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JASON DAVIS v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Voir dire — Bias toward state’s witnesses

Appellant, Jason Davis, was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County of three counts of second-degree burglary, three counts of misdemeanor theft, and four counts of malicious destruction of property.

Prior to trial, Davis moved to suppress evidence and to sever the cases against him. Both motions were denied. He presents four questions for our review, which we quote:

1. Did the trial court err in denying the motion to suppress?

2. Did the trial court err in denying the motion for severance?

3. Did the trial court err in ref using to ask, during voir dire, if any of the prospective jurors (a) would be m ore likely to believe a witness called by the State than a witness called by the defense and (b) would be more likely to believe the testimony of an alleged victim because of the witness’ status as a victim?

4. Did the trial court err in refusing to instruct the jury on mere presence as the scene of a crime in response to a jury question asking if the defendant’s presence at the crime scene is enough to be found guilty of burglary?

Read the opinion here: