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ALONZO EUGENE TURNER v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Illegal sentence — Jury’s failure to utter degree of murder

On December 21, 1989, Alonzo Eugene Turner, appellant, was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County of first-degree murder and other related offenses in connection with the murder of Eric English. Appellant was sentenced to life imprisonment plus to a term of ten years’ imprisonment, all but five years suspended, to run consecutive to the life sentence. Appellant appealed, and this Court affirmed his convictions in an unreported decision.

On July, 15, 2013, appellant filed a pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Md. Rule 4-345(a). He argued, as he does now on appeal, that his sentence was illegal because when announcing their verdict, the jury failed to personally utter whether they had found him guilty of murder in the first or second degree. The circuit court denied the motion on July 1, 2014.

Appellant then noted this appeal and presents two questions for our review which we have consolidated and reworded into one:

Did the circuit court err in denying [appellant’s] motion to correct an illegal sentence?

Read the opinion here: