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Criminal procedure — Motion to correct illegal sentence — Need for hearing

After being convicted by a jury, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, of the first degree murder and armed robbery of Christian Robbins, Percy Edwards, Jr., appellant, pleaded guilty to the first degree murders of Cheryl Connelly and his father, Percy E. Pair, Sr., both of which were committed the day after Robbins’s murder. This Court affirmed all of Edwards’ murder convictions on direct appeal. See Pair v. State, No. 476, Sept. Term 1991 (Md. App. April 16, 1992).

In 2015, Edwards filed a “Motion to Set Aside Conviction for Lack of Jurisdiction,” which, despite its title, was in fact, a motion to correct illegal sentence. In that motion, Edwards claimed that, because he had murdered more than one person in a ten year period, his conduct fell under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, see 18 U.S.C. 1961, and therefore, that the trial court had lacked subject matter jurisdiction over all three of the murder charges. The circuit court denied appellant’s motion without a hearing. The four issues Edwards raises on appeal are reducible to two: (1) whether the circuit court erred in denying his motion and (2) whether the circuit court erred by not holding a hearing on his motion.

Read the opinion here: