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Criminal procedure — Closing argument by state — Reference to DNA

This appeal is before us for the second time. In 2014, after a jury trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Kamal Muhammad, a/k/a Melvin Caldwell, appellant, was convicted of various crimes arising out of the stabbing of L.M.1 and sentenced to imprisonment for 34 years. On appeal, we reversed. See Muhammad v. State, 223 Md. App. 255, 273 (2015). After a retrial before a jury in May 2016, Muhammad was convicted of attempted second-degree murder. He was sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 30 years. This timely appeal followed.

Muhammad presents the following questions for our consideration: I. Did the circuit court err by excluding a key defense witness without exercising any discretion? II. Did the trial court err by permitting the prosecutor to argue that Mr. Muhammad’s DNA was found on the knife when there was no evidence that it was? III. Did the trial court err by permitting the complaining witness to give irrelevant and highly prejudicial victim impact testimony?

Read the opinion here: