Scott v. State, No. 91, Sept. Term, 2016

CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtWatts, J.
Citation164 A.3d 177,454 Md. 146
Parties Theodore SCOTT v. STATE of Maryland
Docket NumberNo. 91, Sept. Term, 2016
Decision Date10 July 2017

454 Md. 146
164 A.3d 177

Theodore SCOTT
v.
STATE of Maryland

No. 91, Sept. Term, 2016

Court of Appeals of Maryland.

July 10, 2017


Argued by Jeffrey M. Ross, Assistant Public Defender (Paul B. DeWolfe, Public Defender of Maryland of Baltimore, MD), on brief, for Petitioner

Argued by Virginia S. Hovermill, Assistant Attorney General (Brian E. Frosh, Attorney General of Maryland of Baltimore, MD), on brief, for Respondent

Argued before Barbera, C.J., Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, Hotten, and Getty, JJ.

Watts, J.

454 Md. 152

Both the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the common law of Maryland provide for a prohibition on double jeopardy. A plea of autrefois acquit is a common-law plea in which a defendant alleges to have been previously acquitted of an offense, and, as a result, that he or she may not be tried again. See Scriber v. State , 437 Md. 399, 403, 86 A.3d 1260, 1262 (2014).1 Under a valid plea of autrefois acquit , the State cannot reprosecute a defendant after an acquittal. The doctrine of collateral estoppel is a common-law doctrine that, in a criminal case, prohibits "the relitigation of an issue of ultimate fact that has been decided in a defendant's favor." Scriber , 437 Md. at 403, 86 A.3d at 1262. Under the doctrine of collateral estoppel, the State cannot relitigate an issue of fact that has been decided in a defendant's favor.

This case requires us to determine whether a plea of autrefois acquit or the doctrine of collateral estoppel bars a trial court from imposing at resentencing an enhanced sentence based on a prior conviction for a crime of violence after the trial court has previously imposed an enhanced sentence based on the same prior conviction, and an appellate court vacated the enhanced sentence due to insufficient evidence of the prior conviction.

164 A.3d 181

In the Circuit Court for Prince George's County ("the circuit court"), a jury found Theodore Scott ("Scott"), Petitioner, guilty of, among other crimes, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. The State contended that Scott was subject to Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law (2002, 2012 Repl. Vol.) ("CR") § 14–101(d), which provided for an enhanced sentence for a defendant who was convicted of a third crime of violence

454 Md. 153

after having been convicted of two crimes of violence.2 At sentencing, the prosecutor offered certified copies of two prior convictions pertaining to Scott, a first-degree assault in Maryland and an aggravated assault in the District of Columbia, as well as the statement of charges for the aggravated assault. The circuit court found that Scott had two prior convictions for crimes of violence, and imposed an enhanced sentence of twenty-five years of imprisonment, without the possibility of parole, for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon. The circuit court imposed a sentence of ten years of imprisonment, with all but five years suspended, followed by five years of supervised probation, for use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, consecutive to the sentence for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, and a sentence of ten years of imprisonment, with all but five years suspended, for conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, consecutive to the other two sentences.

454 Md. 154

The Court of Special Appeals vacated the twenty-five-year sentence for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and remanded for resentencing, concluding that the evidence was insufficient to support the circuit court's determination that the conviction for aggravated assault in the District of Columbia constituted a conviction for a crime of violence under CR § 14–101(a). The Court of Special Appeals did not vacate the sentences for use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, which the circuit court had imposed consecutively.

On remand, the State sought to have the circuit court reimpose the enhanced sentence for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon. Scott opposed the State's attempt to seek an enhanced sentence, contending that the imposition of such a sentence would violate the prohibition on

164 A.3d 182

double jeopardy. At the resentencing proceeding, the circuit court admitted into evidence a transcript of Scott's guilty plea for aggravated assault in the District of Columbia, and again found that Scott had two prior convictions for crimes of violence. The circuit court again sentenced Scott to twenty-five years of imprisonment for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Scott's counsel requested that the circuit court make the new sentence for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon concurrent with the two existing sentences. The circuit court responded that it lacked the discretion to do so. As such, the circuit court reimposed the enhanced sentence for attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, with the sentences for use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon remaining ordered to be served consecutively.

Before us, Scott contends that the circuit court violated the principles of autrefois acquit and collateral estoppel by readjudicating the issue of whether he had the requisite prior convictions for an enhanced sentence. Additionally, Scott argues that the circuit court erred in concluding that it lacked the discretion to impose the new sentence for attempted

454 Md. 155

robbery with a dangerous weapon to be concurrent with the two existing sentences.

An examination of the Supreme Court's and this Court's case law leads to the conclusion that, where an appellate court determines that the evidence was insufficient to establish a requisite prior conviction as a basis for an enhanced sentence and vacates the enhanced sentence, the appellate court's determination does not preclude a trial court from determining at resentencing that the same prior conviction satisfies the requirement for an enhanced sentence.

We hold that: (I) where an appellate court vacates an enhanced sentence due to insufficient evidence of a requisite prior conviction, neither the plea of autrefois acquit nor the doctrine of collateral estoppel bars a trial court from imposing an enhanced sentence at resentencing based on the same prior conviction; and (II) where an appellate court vacates a sentence to which another sentence has been ordered to be consecutive and remands for resentencing without vacating the consecutive sentence, the trial court may not make the new sentence concurrent with the non-vacated consecutive sentence.

BACKGROUND

Charges and Trial

The State charged Scott with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery, first- and second-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, wearing or carrying a handgun, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

At trial, as a witness for the State, Detective Stephen Johnson of the Prince George's County Police Department testified that, on December 23, 2011, at approximately 8 p.m., he and another detective began surveilling the 7–Eleven at 2310 Varnum Street in Mount Rainier from an unmarked police vehicle in an adjacent parking lot. Shortly after 2 a.m. on December 24, 2011, two men walked to the side of the 7–

454 Md. 156

Eleven, spoke to each other, and pulled ski masks over their heads. The taller of the two men pulled out a silver handgun, and the shorter man pulled out a black handgun. The men ran to the front of the 7–Eleven and pulled on the front door handles, but the front door was locked. The men pointed the handguns at the employees inside the 7–Eleven, but the employees did not unlock the front door.

164 A.3d 183

The shorter man ran toward the back of the 7–Eleven, and the taller man ran through the parking lot, turned onto Russell Avenue, and got into the front passenger seat of a vehicle whose engine was running. The detectives and other law enforcement officers chased the vehicle until it ultimately crashed in the District of Columbia.

Detective Johnson provided a description of the shorter man to another detective. Later, Detective Johnson learned that a patrol unit had stopped someone who matched the shorter man's description at 2208 Queens Chapel Road, which is on the street that is directly behind the 7–Eleven. At trial, Detective Johnson identified Scott as the shorter man who had attempted to enter the 7–Eleven with a black handgun.

A jury found Scott guilty of all charges.3

Original Sentencing Proceeding

After trial, but before the sentencing proceeding, the State filed a Notice of Enhanced Penalty (Crime...

To continue reading

Request your trial
36 practice notes
  • State v. Stewart, No. 53
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 25, 2019
    ...n.1, 472, 44 A.3d at 984 n.1, 992-93. The doctrine of stare decisis mandates that this Court adhere to this approach. See Scott v. State, 454 Md. 146, 183, 164 A.3d 177, 198 (2017). 24. If the appellate court determines that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury regarding the two ......
  • Sabisch v. Moyer, No. 6, Sept. Term, 2019
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • November 20, 2019
    ...wrong and contrary to established principles[,] or has been superseded by significant changes in the law or facts." Scott v. State, 454 Md. 146, 183, 164 A.3d 177, 198 (2017) (cleaned up). From our perspective, given the significant changes in federal habeas corpus law implemented by the Un......
  • State v. Stewart, No. 53, Sept. Term, 2018
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 25, 2019
    ...n.1, 472, 44 A.3d at 984 n.1, 992-93. The doctrine of stare decisis mandates that this Court adhere to this approach. See Scott v. State, 454 Md. 146, 183, 164 A.3d 177, 198 (2017).9 If the appellate court determines that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury regarding the two off......
  • State v. Smith, No. 2094, Sept. Term, 2018
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • January 30, 2020
    ...of evidentiary sufficiency potentially implicates Maryland's common law protections against double jeopardy, see, e.g. , Scott v. State , 454 Md. 146, 152, 164 A.3d 177 (2017) ("[T]he State cannot reprosecute a defendant after an acquittal."), and (2) the State has a statutory right to appe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
36 cases
  • State v. Stewart, No. 53
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 25, 2019
    ...n.1, 472, 44 A.3d at 984 n.1, 992-93. The doctrine of stare decisis mandates that this Court adhere to this approach. See Scott v. State, 454 Md. 146, 183, 164 A.3d 177, 198 (2017). 24. If the appellate court determines that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury regarding the two ......
  • Sabisch v. Moyer, No. 6, Sept. Term, 2019
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • November 20, 2019
    ...wrong and contrary to established principles[,] or has been superseded by significant changes in the law or facts." Scott v. State, 454 Md. 146, 183, 164 A.3d 177, 198 (2017) (cleaned up). From our perspective, given the significant changes in federal habeas corpus law implemented by the Un......
  • State v. Stewart, No. 53, Sept. Term, 2018
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 25, 2019
    ...n.1, 472, 44 A.3d at 984 n.1, 992-93. The doctrine of stare decisis mandates that this Court adhere to this approach. See Scott v. State, 454 Md. 146, 183, 164 A.3d 177, 198 (2017).9 If the appellate court determines that the trial court incorrectly instructed the jury regarding the two off......
  • State v. Smith, No. 2094, Sept. Term, 2018
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • January 30, 2020
    ...of evidentiary sufficiency potentially implicates Maryland's common law protections against double jeopardy, see, e.g. , Scott v. State , 454 Md. 146, 152, 164 A.3d 177 (2017) ("[T]he State cannot reprosecute a defendant after an acquittal."), and (2) the State has a statutory right to appe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT