State v. Adams, No. 617 September Term, 2005.

CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtDavis
Citation912 A.2d 16,171 Md. App. 668
Decision Date05 December 2006
Docket NumberNo. 617 September Term, 2005.
PartiesSTATE of Maryland v. Raymond Leon ADAMS.
912 A.2d 16
171 Md. App. 668
STATE of Maryland
v.
Raymond Leon ADAMS.
No. 617 September Term, 2005.
Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.
December 5, 2006.

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Cathleen C. Brockmeyer (J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Atty. Gen., on the brief), Baltimore, MD, for Appellant.

Bradford C. Peabody (Nancy S. Forster, Public Defender, on the brief), baltimore, MD, for Appellee.

Panel: DAVIS, KRAUSER and SHARER, JJ.

DAVIS, Judge.


Appellee, Raymond Leon Adams, was charged with multiple counts of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping, theft, and robbery with a dangerous and deadly weapon. Following a trial on December 3-7, 1979, appellee was found guilty on all counts. On January 18, 1980 and February 4, 1980, appellee was sentenced to life imprisonment for one count of first-degree rape and twenty-one concurrent life sentences for the remaining rape and sexual offenses, thirty consecutive years for kidnapping and a twenty-year sentence for robbery, which was to be served consecutively to all the other sentences. This Court affirmed appellee's convictions in an unreported, per curiam opinion. See Adams v. State, No. 133, September Term, 1980 (filed October 16, 1980). The Court of Appeals denied appellee's pro se Petition for Writ of Certiorari on December 2, 1980. Adams v. State, 289 Md. 733 (1980).

On April 1, 2004, appellee filed a Petition for Post Conviction Relief in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County collaterally challenging his convictions under numbers 20,221, 20,494, 20,546 and 20,723. Subsequent to a hearing held on December 7, 2004 on appellee's post-conviction petition, the Petition for Relief pursuant to the Post Conviction Procedure Act was granted on April 5, 2005, by the court (Platt, J.), which ordered that Petitioner be awarded a new trial on all counts of the indictments. On May 4, 2005, the State filed its Application For Leave To Appeal and, on May 17, 2005, the State filed a Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Application for Leave to Appeal.

This Court granted the State's timely Application for Leave to Appeal on October 18, 2005, presenting the following questions for our review:

I. Did the post conviction court err in rejecting the State's claim that appellee was procedurally barred from pursuing his substantive complaint as to the advisory nature of the jury instructions and, if not barred, did the trial court properly instruct the jury?

II. Did the post conviction court err in rejecting the State's claim that appellee was procedurally barred from pursuing his substantive complaint as to the court's failure to give proper instruction regarding jurisdiction and, if not barred, did the trial court properly instruct the jury?

III. Did the post conviction court err in finding that appellee's trial counsel was ineffective?

For the reasons which follow, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

We considered, in appellee's direct appeal, whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to permit the trier of fact to determine that the events giving rise to his conviction occurred in Maryland.

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The facts upon which appellee's conviction were based, as recited by this Court in that appeal, are as follows:

On the evening of February 17, 1979, Kathy Phipps, along with her older sister, Teresa Bowen, was on the parking lot of the Prince George's Motor Lodge at approximately 10:00 p.m. The two sisters were returning to their car after having left a disco at Cuckoo's Nest. A black van approached and cornered the two of them against some parked cars. Three males got out of the van and approached the two women. [Appellee] was carrying a gun and ordered both women into the van, threatening to shoot them if they did not comply with his order. He grabbed Ms. Phipps. Ms. Bowen backed away and began to scream. As she did so, she saw [appellee] hit her sister over the head and then she heard her sister scream. She observed three males push Kathy into the van and drive off. It was undisputed that the location of the Prince George's Motor Lodge was in Prince George's County Maryland, and was located approximately one and one-half miles from the District of Columbia line.

Ms. Phipps testified that immediately after being forced into the van, she was ordered at gunpoint to remove her jewelry and did so. In leaving the Prince George's Motor Lodge, the van was heading along Branch Avenue in the general direction of Washington D.C. Shortly after removing her jewelry, Ms. Phipps was forced to remove her clothes. [Appellee] was the driver of the van. The passenger to the right front seat, on the direct order of [appellee], moved into the back of the van and started to pull Ms. Phipps clothes off when she was not moving fast enough in disrobing herself. The other passenger in the van then raped her.

[A] whole series of sexual attacks— rape, anal intercourse and fellatio at the hands of [appellee] himself; both passengers in the van and, later, a group of several other males during a stop at a parking lot—ensued. . . .

Immediately after Ms. Phipps' gold necklace and watch had been grabbed from her and various rings had been ripped off her fingers, the sexual assault began. She described all of this as taking "just a minute or so."

[S]hortly after the first rape, at gunpoint, was over, the van turned off of Branch Avenue, making a right-hand turn and went up a hill. Going the wrong way up a one-way street, it was involved in a minor accident. The whole series of sexual attacks of every variety by a number of parties followed. Ms. Phipps estimated that when the second attack began, approximately ten to fifteen minutes had already elapsed since the time of the initial kidnapping. She asked her abductors if they were still in Maryland, to which they replied affirmatively, but they laughed in the process of making the affirmative reply, leading her to doubt their truthfulness. At one point in her ordeal her various abductors had put a coat over her head so that she could not see anything. Ultimately she was threatened with death and then pushed out of the van, which resulted in her being in Prince George's County, Maryland. When she knocked on the door of an apartment house for assistance, it was the Prince George's County Police who responded. This was approximately 12:15 a.m., a little over two hours after she had been kidnapped.

Additionally, Teresa Brown identified William Raleigh Knight and appellee as the passenger in the back of the van and the driver of the van, respectively; she also identified appellee as the gunman at a

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line-up after he had been arrested. Kathy Phipps identified appellee's photo in an array shortly after the incident and also several days later; she later identified the pair at trial. Appellee had been seen by Officer Peter G. Serbinoff, a Washington D.C. police officer, in a van with octagonal windows, a CB antenna and wheels matching the description of the van that had been used in the offenses at almost the same time the description was relayed over his radio. Inside of the van, the Washington D.C. Evidence Collection Unit found a white scarf and comb identified by Phipps as hers and three used prophylactics. At the conclusion of the evidence, it was stipulated that the medical evidence would show that Phipps had been vaginally and anally sexually assaulted.

Prior to closing argument by counsel, the trial judge gave the following instructions to the jury:

All right, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the testimony in this case has been concluded, and prior to your listening to [State's Attorney] and [appellee's counsel] tell you what they think you ought to do in this particular case, I am going to instruct you and discuss with you the law about the case that we have just sat and listened to for the past five days.

Those of you who have sat previously as jurors in a criminal case know, and for those of you who have not sat previously and who do not know, that in our State, unlike [forty-eight] other states in our country, in a criminal case you as the jury sit not only as what we call the triers of fact, you also sit as what we call the judge of the law. And what this means, in essence, is that the facts in this case as you have sat and listened to for the past five days will be as you find them to be, and the law in this case will be as you find it to be. And because you are both the judges of the fact and the judges of the law anything that I may now tell you about either the facts of the law is purely advisory. You may disregard anything that I tell you, and you may pay absolutely no attention to what I tell you concerning either the facts or the law, with this one admonition concerning the law. You are not to apply the law as you think it ought to be or what it should be, but what it in fact is in this particular case.

And because you are the judges of the law [State's Attorney] and [appellee counsel] in their closing arguments to you may tell you what they think the law is in our State and how you should apply it in this particular case.

I, therefore, instruct you in an advisory capacity that in this case that you will sit on, that is of a criminal nature, the law places the burden on the State of Maryland to prove that the defendant, and in this case [appellee] is guilty beyond what we call a reasonable doubt. No defendant in any criminal case has to prove he is innocent. Accordingly, you will assume that [appellee] is innocent unless you are convinced from all the evidence in this case that you have heard for the past five days that he is guilty.

The trial court also instructed the jury:

I further instruct you in an advisory capacity that you have sat and listened to testimony in this case concerning identification of [appellee] by use of photographs and by use of a lineup. And in this regard I instruct you...

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11 practice notes
  • Unger v. State, No. 111
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 24, 2012
    ...December 8, 2006, before the Circuit Court. This was three days after the Court of Special Appeals filed its opinion in State v. Adams, 171 Md. App. 668, 912 A.2d 16 (December 5, 2006).6 In State v. Adams, the defendant Adams had been convicted of several criminal offenses in a jury trial o......
  • State v. Adams, No. 38 September Term, 2007.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 15, 2008
    ...The Court of Special Appeals, on the State's appeal, affirmed the post-conviction Court in a reported opinion. State v. Adams, 171 Md.App. 668, 912 A.2d 16 (2006). We granted the State's Petition for Writ of Certiorari. State v. Adams, 399 Md. 595, 925 A.2d 634 (2007). The State presents th......
  • Unger v. State, No. 111
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • August 16, 2012
    ...December 8, 2006, before the Circuit Court. This was three days after the Court of Special Appeals filed its opinion in State v. Adams, 171 Md.App. 668, 912 A.2d 16 (2006).6 In State v. Adams, the defendant Adams had been convicted of several criminal offenses in a jury trial on December 3–......
  • In re Rhoades v. State, Docket No. 35187 (Idaho 3/17/2010), Docket No. 35187.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 17, 2010
    ...(Ky. 2009); State ex rel. Taylor v. Whitley, 606 So. 2d 1292 (La. 1992); Carmichael v. State, 927 A.2d 1172 (Me. 2007); State v. Adams, 912 A.2d 16 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2006), rev'd on other grounds, 958 A.2d 295 (Md. 2006); Commonwealth v. Bray, 553 N.E.2d 538 (Mass. 1990); Danforth v. Stat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Unger v. State, No. 111
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 24, 2012
    ...December 8, 2006, before the Circuit Court. This was three days after the Court of Special Appeals filed its opinion in State v. Adams, 171 Md. App. 668, 912 A.2d 16 (December 5, 2006).6 In State v. Adams, the defendant Adams had been convicted of several criminal offenses in a jury trial o......
  • State v. Adams, No. 38 September Term, 2007.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 15, 2008
    ...The Court of Special Appeals, on the State's appeal, affirmed the post-conviction Court in a reported opinion. State v. Adams, 171 Md.App. 668, 912 A.2d 16 (2006). We granted the State's Petition for Writ of Certiorari. State v. Adams, 399 Md. 595, 925 A.2d 634 (2007). The State presents th......
  • Unger v. State, No. 111
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • August 16, 2012
    ...December 8, 2006, before the Circuit Court. This was three days after the Court of Special Appeals filed its opinion in State v. Adams, 171 Md.App. 668, 912 A.2d 16 (2006).6 In State v. Adams, the defendant Adams had been convicted of several criminal offenses in a jury trial on December 3–......
  • In re Rhoades v. State, Docket No. 35187 (Idaho 3/17/2010), Docket No. 35187.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 17, 2010
    ...(Ky. 2009); State ex rel. Taylor v. Whitley, 606 So. 2d 1292 (La. 1992); Carmichael v. State, 927 A.2d 1172 (Me. 2007); State v. Adams, 912 A.2d 16 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2006), rev'd on other grounds, 958 A.2d 295 (Md. 2006); Commonwealth v. Bray, 553 N.E.2d 538 (Mass. 1990); Danforth v. Stat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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