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JERMAINE LEE BROWN v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Illegal sentence — Merger of robbery and felony murder

In 1993, Jermaine Lee Brown was involved in the armed robbery of drugs and money from a unit in an Oxon Hill apartment complex. Bernardo Lloyd, who lived in the apartment, escaped with non-fatal gunshot wounds, but Denia Whren, a visitor at the time of the robbery, died from a gunshot wound to the head. After a four-day trial in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in August 1994 (not a typo), Mr. Brown was convicted of first-degree felony murder, attempted second-degree murder, the use of a handgun in both of those crimes, and robbery. The court sentenced him to life in prison on the felony murder charge and fifteen years to be served concurrently for use of a handgun in that crime; an additional ten years on the attempted murder charge, to be served consecutively with his life sentence; and another ten years on the robbery charge, to be served concurrently with his life sentence.

Mr. Brown contends that the circuit court committed an instructional error and an evidentiary error, and that his sentence for robbery should have been merged into the sentence for felony murder.

Read the opinion here: