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RONALD E. DAVIS, JR. v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Jury instruction — Mere presence

Following a two-day jury trial in May 2016 before the Circuit Court for Charles County, appellant Ronald Davis was convicted of possession of a regulated firearm with a prior disqualifying conviction. On October 14, 2016, the court sentenced appellant to eighteen months in the Charles County Detention Center. Appellant timely appealed and presents three questions for our review:

1. Whether the trial court’s refusal to allow Dresean Stewart to testify on issues relevant to the firearm possession charge constitutes reversible error?

2. Whether the jury’s consideration of inadmissible hearsay—to the effect of “that’s my closet; that’s my key”—was unduly prejudicial?

3. Whether the trial court erroneously refused to give a “mere presence” jury instruction as requested by the defense?

Read the opinion here: