Hudgins v. State

Decision Date05 January 1982
Docket NumberNo. 70,70
PartiesMichael Ollie HUDGINS v. STATE of Maryland.
CourtMaryland Court of Appeals

Victoria S. Keating, Asst. Public Defender, Baltimore (Alan H. Murrell, Public Defender, Baltimore, on the brief) for appellant.

Richard B. Rosenblatt, Asst. Atty. Gen., Baltimore (Stephen H. Sachs, Atty. Gen., Baltimore, on the brief), for appellee.


DIGGES, Judge.

We granted certiorari in this criminal cause to examine whether the Court of Special Appeals erred in holding that petitioner Michael Ollie Hudgins was not entitled to relief from revocation of the probation which had been earlier granted him at the time he was sentenced in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. We disagree with the conclusion reached by the intermediate court in its unreported opinion, and consequently, will reverse its judgment and remand the case for further proceedings in the trial court.

The record reveals that Hudgins, in accord with a bargain struck with the State, entered a plea of guilty to daytime housebreaking on August 24, 1979, and received a sentence of five years imprisonment. Pursuant to the bargain, the court suspended sentence and placed the prisoner on supervised conditional probation for a three year period. The agreed statement of facts, entered into by the parties in harmony with Maryland Rule 828g, graphically portrays the background information relevant to this appeal:

(Upon acceptance of the guilty plea, the court placed the petitioner) on probation with the special condition that he cooperate with the Maryland State Police in tracking down criminals. ((Emphasis supplied).) No appeal was taken. On October 3, 1980, a hearing before the same judge who had imposed sentence was held on the State's petition to revoke appellant's probation, wherein the following facts were adduced:

According to appellant's probation agent, Jeffrey Israel, the special condition "was kept, I guess, quiet." It was not written down anywhere and Israel himself knew nothing about it. As far as Israel was concerned, appellant had complied with all the rules: he had paid his costs in full, he had reported as instructed, and he had not been arrested for anything.

According to Sergeant Raymond F. Leard, the court placed appellant on probation and assigned appellant to Leard, on Leard's recommendation, after appellant initiated a conversation with the sergeant in which he said that he would work for the State Police if Leard would "speak for him" in court. Leard initially "wasn't really interested," but agreed after appellant told Leard that he could lead Leard to "armed robbers, burglars, (and) stolen guns all through Baltimore." Thereafter, as a special condition of probation (in addition to certain general conditions of probation that were written in the probation order), the court told appellant that he was to "work with the State Police until there was satisfaction for what he was charged with, until the State Police were satisfied that he had worked out for what he was charged with." No time limit was placed; however, Leard was told to report back to the court after ninety days to inform it of the extent of appellant's cooperation. Asked at the hearing what he expected of appellant in the way of cooperation, Leard said that he "expected what (appellant) told me he was going to give me, armed robbers, burglars, stolen guns." He added, "We have a lot of information. We wanted to make actual cases."

Two days after being placed on probation appellant began to work for the police. However, in October of 1979, Leard decided that appellant had not provided enough information, and he requested the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office to file a petition for revocation.

The extent of appellant's cooperation with the State Police was testified to by TFC Mark Wheeler. Wheeler said that Leard assigned appellant to him on September 13, 1979, and that he and appellant started working together immediately. Wheeler related the following chronicle of events:

On their first night together, September 13, appellant led Wheeler to a subject named Kevin Pratt who was supposed to have a stolen handgun for sale. On the 14th, appellant introduced Wheeler to "other members of the criminal element." On the 17th, appellant led Wheeler to a subject named Mills who was wanted by the Baltimore City Police, and Mills was arrested. On the 18th Wheeler and appellant purchased the handgun from Pratt, but it turned out not to be stolen.

On September 20, appellant and Wheeler "gathered some intelligence" concerning alleged illegal activities of a certain motorcycle gang, but the information could never be confirmed. On the same day, appellant was with Wheeler when he became involved in a fight and incurred a head wound, rendering him unable to work for two days. On the 23rd, appellant began setting up a $20 phencyclidine buy for Wheeler, and the buy was consummated with appellant's assistance on the 25th. On the 26th, appellant led Wheeler back to Kevin Pratt for the purpose of buying marijuana, but Pratt had none. On the 27th, appellant, and Wheeler went out looking for "members of the criminal element" but could not find any. On the 28th, appellant took Wheeler back to the subject who had earlier furnished the phencyclidine for the purpose of setting up more narcotics buys as well as a buy of a handgun. On the 29th, when the buy was supposed to take place, Wheeler could not locate appellant.

On October 1, Wheeler contacted appellant and appellant said that he had spent the weekend "developing information"; however, Wheeler said "we never could, really, do anything with" this "information." On October 3, appellant led Wheeler to a subject who was supposed to have drugs and a stolen handgun for sale. The buys were made but the "drugs" turned out to be fake and the gun again turned out not to be stolen. On the 4th, appellant led Wheeler to a group of men who discussed having a quantity of stolen guns for sale, but on the 5th, when all were supposed to meet again, neither appellant nor any of group showed up. On October 8, 10, 11, 12, 15 and 16, Wheeler tried to locate appellant and could not.

On October 17, appellant and Wheeler were together again and appellant introduced Wheeler to some "members of the criminal element," which led to a breakfast the next day with "two members of the criminal element." During the breakfast, appellant made certain "inflammatory" comments to or about these "members of the criminal element," causing Wheeler to feel concern for his safety, and as a result Wheeler "pretty much decided not to work with (appellant) because he was putting me in obvious danger." On the 30th, appellant called to say that Kevin Pratt had been involved in a shooting. It was confirmed that Pratt had been shot and thrown from a window. Appellant was supposed to call Wheeler the next day to furnish him with tag and phone numbers of possible suspects, but did not. "From then on, it was intermittent calls."

In summary, Wheeler said that there were 14 times during the period in which he was working with appellant that he tried to locate appellant and could not, and 13 times in which he did contact appellant. Appellant gave information leading to two arrests, but did not lead Wheeler to any burglars or armed robbers, nor were any stolen weapons recovered. Wheeler acknowledged that "until we reached a certain point in time, we didn't feel that we had a problem with Mr. Hudgins in not showing up, things like that, because he...

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  • Patuxent Inst. Bd. of Review v. Hancock, 5
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 1 Septiembre 1992
    ...general condition, and such guidance is in fact given.' " Id. at 7, 506 A.2d at 1168 (citation omitted). See also Hudgins v. State, 292 Md. 342, 347, 348, 438 A.2d 928, 930-31 (1982) (requirement that the probation, as a "special condition", "cooperate with the Maryland State police in trac......
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    ...specific direction within the ambit of the initially expressed general condition, and such guidance is in fact given.Hudgins v. State, 292 Md. 342, 348, 438 A.2d 928 (1982) (footnote omitted).In the present case, the court authorized the COMET team to impose a curfew between the hours of 7:......
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