Johnson v. State

CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
Citation137 A.3d 253,228 Md.App. 27
Docket NumberNo. 1410, Sept. Term, 2013.,1410, Sept. Term, 2013.
PartiesMichael Anthony JOHNSON v. STATE of Maryland.
Decision Date31 May 2016

228 Md.App. 27
137 A.3d 253

Michael Anthony JOHNSON
STATE of Maryland.

No. 1410, Sept. Term, 2013.

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

May 31, 2016.

137 A.3d 255

Benjamin M. Miller (Paul B. DeWolfe, Public Defender, on the brief) Baltimore, MD, for appellant.

Cathleen C. Brockmeyer (Douglas G. Gansler, Atty. Gen., on the brief) Baltimore, MD, for appellee.



228 Md.App. 31

Michael Johnson, appellant, was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County of one count of

228 Md.App. 32

stalking, ten counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of harassment, ten counts of harassment by electronic mail (“email”), and fifty counts of violating a protective order. As a result, the court imposed concurrent and consecutive sentences which, in the aggregate, totaled eighty-five years and ninety days' imprisonment.

On appeal, appellant raises the following questions,1 which we have slightly reworded:

1. Did the trial court err by failing to merge appellant's ten convictions for email harassment under Section 3–805 of the Criminal Law Article, which punishes a “course of conduct”?

2. Did the trial court err by failing to merge appellant's fifty convictions for violating a protective order into nine convictions, based on conduct occurring on nine separate days?
137 A.3d 256
3. Did by trial court err by failing to merge two of appellant's reckless endangerment convictions based on the conduct of posting material to

4. Did the trial court err by permitting the victim to testify in rebuttal to appellant's prior convictions of assault and violation of a protective order?

5. Did the trial court err in admitting printouts of emails the victim said were sent by appellant?
228 Md.App. 33

For the following reasons, we shall answer these questions in the negative and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the circuit court.


Angell Williams and appellant were married and in 2010 had a son together; they separated in the summer of 2010 and divorced in September 2011. In July 2010, Williams obtained a protective order against appellant. On February 27, 2011, appellant was arrested for violating the protective order. Appellant went to jail, but was released the same night. On February 28, 2011, appellant attacked Williams as she was getting into her car; he was arrested for second degree assault, found guilty of violating the protective order and assaulting Williams, and sentenced to a year of imprisonment.

On June 20, 2012, Williams could not log into her MSN email account. When she tried to reset her password, she noticed that the recovery email address listed was not hers, but instead was that of, appellant's email address. That same day, three to four men came to Williams's home and said they were responding to a sex ad on Craigslist. One such man showed Williams the ad on his phone; the ad contained old pictures of Williams, her name and address, as well as an invitation for men to come to Williams's home and have sex with her. Williams, who had not placed the ad, called 911. The police came to her home, but said that there was nothing they could do without proof of who created the ad.

On June 21, 2012, Williams received messages from several of her friends on Facebook, asking Williams why she created another Facebook page. Williams went on Facebook and saw the new page, which, like the Craigslist ad, contained old pictures of Williams, as well as her address and prices listed for various sex acts. Williams recognized that the pictures were from her hacked MSN email account. Also on June 21, 2012, Williams received an email message from Gmail notifying her that she had attempted to reset the password for her

228 Md.App. 34

email account. Williams notified Gmail that she had not attempted to reset her password. On June 21, 2012, approximately forty men came to Williams's home in response to sex ads. One of these men showed her the Craigslist ad to which he was responding. The ad read:

This is real, rape me. I want some guys to knock on my door. When I open it, smack me, push me down, rip my panties off, fuck me and leave me. No talking, just rape me and go. If your [sic] down, no emails, just come over, 7300 18th Ave, Apartment 202, Hyattsville, Maryland 20783, map quest it and come on over. Real men step up.

On June 23, 2012, as men were still coming to Williams's home, Williams received emails from, appellant's email account. The first email read: “You having fun yet.” Williams replied: “Stop[ ] sending people to my house to have sex with my kids and me. That's solicitation.” Appellant responded,

137 A.3d 257

“Don't know what you're talking about, but maybe we can work something out so I can make it stop for you.” Williams responded, “Maybe your probation officer can help me;” a condition of appellant's probation was to have no contact with Williams. Appellant replied:

301–699–3644, Agent Jones, call when you're ready, don't see how that will stop your problem since I heard your address is posted on a lot of adult websites; and I think I could help you get them down. But, if I'm not here, maybe they will stay up there. Whoever put them up there must not know it's some crazy people out there. Be safe from leaving your house. Hope nobody hangs around, but, like I said, maybe we can work something out.

The email exchanges continued; that same day, Williams filed a petition for a protective order against appellant and received a temporary protective order. She also called 911 and gave the police who responded a copy of the temporary order. The police said that they would attempt to serve appellant with such order.

Williams received another email from appellant on June 24, 2012, which read:

228 Md.App. 35
Your life wasn't meant to be normal. You can try to be something you're not, but your life has never been normal for 32 years, so why do you think it's going to change. It's okay to lie to other people like your life is something it's not, but what about yourself? It will always catch up to you. This is how your life has been and always be. Love always, bye Big Head.

Men were still coming to Williams's home at all hours of the day and night. Williams would tell the men that the ads were fake and ask what website had posted the ad; then she would contact that website and ask it to take down the ad. One ad posted on read:

Hello, I'm Angell. I'm looking for sex and sex only. I swallow. I do anal and groups up to five guys at once. If you're not in Maryland, DC or Virginia, please don't bother me. If you do live in the DMV, holla at your girl with that wet-wet and sloppy head. I live in Riggs Hill Condos, so if you close by, hit me up.

Williams called 911 again on June 26, 2012, in an attempt to put a stop to the men responding to the ads. The police advised her to press charges for violation of a protective order, which she did the next day.

On June 29, 2012, the circuit court held a hearing on the final protective order. Williams showed the court the emails and ads. The court granted the final protective order and ordered appellant to not have any contact with Williams.

On July 6, 2012, as men were still coming to Williams's home, Williams received an email from Williams had a friend with the stage name of Riffraff Shawn that appellant knew, but Williams and Shawn never exchanged emails. The email said: “It will be about 25–40 folks comin over between now and Saturday, so keep doin you and givin your number out and suckin and fuckin. I will have you workin in no time.” A few hours later, Williams received a second email from the same address; it read: “Get a hotel room tomorrow and I will meet you there. Fuck me the whole

228 Md.App. 36

day and it will stop. Don't and there will be no peace for you. I will have folks comin over there until you move.”

Williams, who suspected that the emails were coming from appellant, replied to the e-mail in the hopes that appellant would identify himself, and to figure out “how he could be set up” so that police could arrest him. Williams also called the police to ask

137 A.3d 258

them for help in catching appellant; she suggested that the police “book the hotel room and have him go there an[d] arrest him.” The police told Williams to file charges, which she did that day. Williams also bought a shotgun to protect herself and her four children from appellant.

Williams received additional emails from the address on July 9, with further...

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