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SEAN T. TURKOT v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Jury instruction — Defense of others

On January 4, 2015, Edward Hayden was reported missing. After Sean Turkot confessed that he and a friend killed Hayden, the authorities found his body in the Susquehanna River north of Havre de Grace, wrapped in tarps, with his hands and feet bound by duct tape. Hayden had suffered blunt-force head trauma and stab wounds to the back of his neck. Following a seven-day trial in the Circuit Court for Harford County, a jury convicted Turkot of premeditated murder, rejecting his defense that Hayden was killed in a spontaneous attack by Alexander Smoot, Turkot’s friend. The jury found Turkot guilty of conspiring with Smoot to murder Hayden and committing murder in the first degree. Turkot was sentenced, by a judge, to life without the possibility of parole for the murder and to a life sentence for the conspiracy.

In this timely appeal, Turkot challenges his convictions and sentences …

Read the opinion here: