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Criminal law — Sufficiency of the evidence — Robbery

This case is before us for the second time. After a jury trial in 2010 in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, appellant Marquis Evans was convicted of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the 2008 shooting death of Thaddeus McCauley. In an unreported opinion, this Court reversed those convictions. Evans v. State, No. 1980, Sept. Term 2010 (filed Nov. 14, 2011).

Evans was retried in 2014, and he was convicted of felony murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, first-degree assault, and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence. On December 1, 2014, the court sentenced him to life imprisonment for the felony murder conviction and a consecutive term of 20 years, the first five to be served without the possibility of parole, for the handgun conviction. The remaining convictions merged for sentencing purposes. This timely appeal followed.

Evans presents the following four questions for our consideration:

I. Was the evidence presented at trial insufficient to support convictions for robbery and, by necessity, felony murder because the State never proved that anything was stolen from Thaddeus McCauley?

II. Did the trial court repeat its error from Evans’s first trial by admitting the very evidence that this Court held was “clearly inadmissible other crimes evidence”?

III. Did the trial court abuse its discretion in permitting the State to argue in closing an expert opinion not given at trial?

IV. Did the trial court err in failing to fulfill its duty under Maryland Rule 4-215 by refusing to make a merits decision on Evans’s multiple requests to discharge counsel?

Read the opinion here: