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FREDERICK VAUGHN v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Bail-review hearings — Mootness

After arriving at the scene of a reported fist fight involving five to six males, armed with wooden boards, police arrested Frederick Vaughn, appellant, for, among other offenses, possession of a handgun by a disqualified person and possession of cocaine. The next day, Vaughn was held, without bail, by order of the District Court Commissioner. The day after that, a bail review hearing was held, for Vaughn, in the District Court. At the conclusion of that hearing, Vaughn’s bail was set at $300,000. Then, sometime later that same day, while the court was proceeding to engage in other bail review matters, Vaughn requested that the court reopen his bail hearing, as Vaughn wished to introduce the testimony of an eyewitness to his arrest, and a video of the incident, giving rise to the charges against him.

When the court denied that request, Vaughn filed, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which was granted, on the grounds that the District Court had erred, by refusing, at Vaughn’s bail review hearing, to consider the exculpatory evidence he had offered after his bail review hearing had concluded. The circuit court then conducted a de novo bail review hearing, at which time it reviewed photographic stills from the video, but denied Vaughn’s request to adduce the video and testimony at issue. It then set his bail in the same amount that the District Court had: $300,000.

Read the opinion here: