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HENRY JEFFERSON GRAY v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Motion to suppress evidence — Recorded telephone conversations

Henry Jefferson Gray, appellant, was convicted by a jury sitting in the Circuit Court for Queen Anne’s County of three counts of conspiracy: conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute, and conspiracy to possess cocaine. The court sentenced appellant to 15 years of imprisonment, 13 years suspended, followed by five years of supervised probation, for each of his first two convictions, to be served concurrently; the court merged his last conviction.

Appellant presents the following questions on appeal, which we have slightly rephrased: I. Did the trial court err when it admitted into evidence recorded telephone calls because: A) the evidence with which the State attempted to authenticate appellant’s voice on the calls was insufficient and violated the best evidence rule, and B) the co-conspirator exception to the hearsay rule did not apply? II. Did the trial court err when it admitted into evidence expert testimony about the coded drug language used in the recorded telephone calls? III. Did the trial court err when it admitted into evidence testimony about the illicit activities of appellant’s alleged co-conspirator? IV. Did the trial court err by imposing two conspiracy sentences?

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