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TIESHA WILLIAMS v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Motion to suppress evidence — Redacted jailhouse phone calls

During the early morning hours of November 12, 2014, Tiesha Williams, appellant, got into a fight with Malita Savage. During the fight, Ms. Williams stabbed Ms. Savage five times with a knife. As a result of the stabbing Ms. Savage suffered a punctured lung and two arteries in her head were severed. She was hospitalized for three days.

Due to the stabbings, Ms. Williams, was charged by information in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City with: 1) attempted first-degree murder; 2) attempted second-degree murder; 3) first-degree assault; 4) second-degree assault; and 5) wearing or carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure.

A jury trial was held in June 2015. Even though she never testified at trial, appellant’s attorney claimed that his client stabbed Ms. Savage in self-defense. The jury found Ms. Williams guilty of first-degree assault and guilty of openly carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure, but acquitted her of attempted first and second-degree murder.

After sentencing, Ms. Williams filed a timely appeal in which she raises two questions, worded as follows:

1) Did the trial court abuse its discretion by admitting the redacted versions of Ms. Williams’ jail phone calls rather than [admitting] the full version of the calls?

2) Did the court commit plain error when it allowed the prosecutor to make improper and highly prejudicial remarks during closing argument?

Read the opinion here: