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SYNEETRA BELL v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Closing argument by state — New theory of guilt

A jury in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County convicted Syneetra Bell, Appellant, of one count of theft scheme between $1,000.00 and $10,000.00, two counts of theft less than $1,000.00, and one count of theft between $1,000.00 and $10,000.00. Appellant was sentenced to a total of five years’ imprisonment, with all but one year suspended.

In this appeal, Appellant presents the following questions for our review: 1. Did the circuit court err in conducting a hearing in the absence of Appellant and her counsel? 2. Did the trial court commit plain error in permitting the State in closing argument to adopt a new theory of guilt unsupported by the trial court’s instructions to the jury? 3. Did the trial court err in refusing to permit the defense to refresh the recollection of a key State’s witness?

Read the opinion here: