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TRENT THOMAS V. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Illegal sentence — Revocation of probation

In 2006, Trent Thomas, appellant, entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder and was sentenced by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City to a term of twenty years’ imprisonment, all but 10 years suspended, to be followed by a five-year term of supervised probation. While serving this sentence, Thomas was convicted of violating § 9-417 of the Criminal Law Article (Crim. Law) of the Maryland Code which prohibits a person “detained or confined in a place of confinement” from knowingly possessing or receiving a “telecommunication device” and for violating Crim. Law, § 5-601(a) (possession of a controlled dangerous substance).

The State then moved to revoke his probation in this case. Following a violation of probation hearing, the circuit court revoked his probation and ordered Thomas to serve ten years of his previously suspended sentence for murder, with the ten-year term to run from August 8, 2010. Thomas’s application for leave to appeal that decision was denied by this Court. Trent Thomas v. State of Maryland, No. 164, Sept. Term, 2011 (filed March 6, 2012).

In 2014, Thomas filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence in which he asserted that, because his probationary term had not yet begun when he committed the new offenses while in prison, the court erred in revoking his probation and ordering him to serve the balance of his murder sentence. The circuit court denied the motion, and Thomas appealed.

Read the opinion here: