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DONTE DAWSON MCKINNON v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Motion to suppress evidence — DNA

Appellant Donte Dawson McKinnon was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County of armed robbery and related firearm charges.

He presents the following three questions for our review: “1. Did the trial court err in admitting DNA evidence when the State failed to link the sample tested by the FBI to the swab taken from McKinnon, there was no chain-of-custody log, and the DNA analyst admitted he was ‘assuming that this particular sample was from Donte McKinnon’? 2. Did the police have reasonable articulable suspicion to stop a car based only on a detective’s observation—over the course of one hour—of three handshakes followed by brief conversations in a shopping center parking lot during business hours? 3. Did the trial court err in denying McKinnon’s motion to sever the gun possession counts from the robbery counts when the offenses were separated by two full weeks and the only asserted correlation was that the police discovered evidence of both offenses in the car stop?”

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