State v. Adams, No. 38 September Term, 2007.

CourtCourt of Special Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtHarrell
Citation958 A.2d 295,406 Md. 240
PartiesSTATE of Maryland v. Raymond Leon ADAMS.
Decision Date15 October 2008
Docket NumberNo. 38 September Term, 2007.
958 A.2d 295
406 Md. 240
STATE of Maryland
v.
Raymond Leon ADAMS.
No. 38 September Term, 2007.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
October 15, 2008.

[958 A.2d 298]

Cathleen C. Brockmeyer, Assistant Attorney General (Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland of Baltimore), on brief, for petitioner.

Bradford C. Peabody, Assistant Public Defender (Nancy S. Forster, Public Defender, of Baltimore), on brief, for respondent.

Gary E. Bair, Bennett & Bair, LLP, Greenbelt, for Brief of Amicus Curiae Families Against Injustice in Support of Respondent.

Argued before BELL, C.J., RAKER*, HARRELL, BATTAGLIA, JOHN C. ELDRIDGE, (Retired, specially assigned), ALAN M. WILNER, (Retired, specially assigned) and DALE R. CATHELL, (Retired, specially assigned), JJ.

HARRELL, J.


I.
Facts & Process

On the night of 17 February 1979, Kathy P.1 and her sister, Teresa B., were walking to their car in the parking lot of the Prince George's Motor Lodge, after leaving the Cuckoo's Nest, a nearby bar. The Motor Lodge and the bar are in Prince George's County. A van approached and cornered the women between several parked cars. Three men got out of the van. One of them, later identified as Raymond Leon Adams, was carrying a gun. Adams, threatening to shoot the women, ordered them to get into the van. Adams grabbed Kathy P., struck her over her head, and, together with other men, pushed her into the van. The vehicle, with Kathy P. inside, sped off on Branch Avenue in the direction of the District of Columbia. Adams drove the van. It was stipulated at trial that it is between a mile and a mile and a half from the Prince George's Motor Lodge to the District of Columbia border.

958 A.2d 299

Shortly after being forced into the van, Kathy P. was ordered to remove her jewelry and forcibly stripped of her clothing. One of the other male occupants in the van, later identified as William Raleigh Knight, raped her at gunpoint within minutes of the abduction.2 Shortly after the first rape, the van turned right off of Branch Avenue and went the wrong way on a one-way street. The van was involved in a minor accident with another vehicle. Kathy P. then endured a series of sexual attacks and rapes by several men. She estimated that approximately fifteen minutes elapsed between the kidnapping and this series of sexual attacks.3 Kathy P. said she asked her abductors whether they were still in Maryland. They responded that they were in Maryland, however, she testified that she did not believe them because they laughed while responding. Just over two hours after the abduction, Kathy P. was pushed out of the van in Prince George's County, Maryland. She knocked on the door of a nearby apartment and was able to contact the Prince George's County Police for assistance. Teresa B. identified the driver of the van as Adams and also identified the passenger in the van as William Raleigh Knight. Kathy P. identified Adams in a photo array shortly after the attack, as well as again several days later and yet again at trial. Adams also was identified by a District of Columbia police officer who stopped Adams while he was driving a van matching the description of the van used in the abduction and attacks. A search of the van revealed three used prophylactics, and a scarf and comb belonging to Kathy P. It was stipulated at trial that Kathy P. suffered physical injuries consistent with a sexual assault.

Adams was charged with kidnapping, robbery with a deadly weapon, six counts of first degree rape, and three counts of first degree sex offense. At his 1979 trial in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Adams contended that the rapes occurred outside the State of Maryland, and thus Maryland did not have jurisdiction to try him for the crimes. The State presented two counter-arguments. First, the State contended that the evidence showed that the rapes, in fact, did occur in Maryland. Second, the State argued that, even assuming that the rapes occurred in the District of Columbia, the State could assert jurisdiction under Maryland Code (1957, 1971 Repl.Vol.), Article 27, § 465. Section 465 stated:

If a person is transported by any means, with the intent to violate this subheading [sexual offenses] and the intent is followed by actual violation of this subheading, the defendant may be tried in the appropriate court within whose jurisdiction the county lies where the transportation was offered, solicited, begun, continued or ended.

Maryland Code (1957, 1971 Repl.Vol.) Article 27, § 465.

Adams retorted that § 465 addressed the matter of venue, not the territorial jurisdiction, of a particular court.4

958 A.2d 300

Adams further contended that Maryland had "no authority to legislate itself into having jurisdiction over acts that do not occur within the State." After several lengthy discussions of jurisdiction at different stages of the trial, the trial court denied Adams's motions and ruled that the question would be submitted to the jury. At that point, the following discussion took place:

Court: ... I think I am going to solve this problem very easily. I am going to instruct on the statute, and also add the question to be decided by the jury where all these acts took place. At this time I may agree with [the State's Attorney]. Maybe at a later time I may disagree with you. If the jury can make a finding it might solve a lot of problems, if this case went to the Court of Appeals or the Court of Special Appeals and there was a specific finding in that regard by the jury.

Defense Counsel: Your Honor, I hate to interrupt the Court, but I think this is the very issue we addressed earlier.

Court: Yes.

Defense Counsel: The State has not shown anything upon which the jury can make that determination. And that is why I submit to the Court that this should not be passed to the jury.

Court: ... [A]ll that I know is that the intent started out in a Prince George's County motel. All I have in front of me at this time is that is where it started. I have testimony from [Kathy P.] that sexual assaults were inflicted on her while the van was in motion, and that subsequent sexual assaults were inflicted on her at various places, and she was told they were in Maryland. Whether she believed what they told her or she didn't believe that makes no difference. Nobody has told me that this incident didn't occur in the State of Maryland. There is no evidence in this case at all that this didn't occur in Maryland, at this juncture. And if somebody does testify that they occurred in the District of Columbia that then becomes in my judgment a factual issue that a jury then can make a determination on.

At this juncture all that I know is it started out and it occurred in Maryland, and that is all I have in front of me. If someone gets up and says it occurred elsewhere I think that it is perfectly reasonable to let a jury make a — that is one of the issues a jury may have to determine.

If this case is ever appealed, or he is convicted and I make a subsequent ruling the statute applies out of state, and the Court of Appeals says I am wrong, or the jury says that it did happen in the District and I am wrong, that ends it right then and there.

Do you [to the State's Attorney] think that is a solution?

State's Attorney: I don't really know. It is a good procedure to get the jury to come back with specific findings of fact in a case like this, obviously, if this case is appealed to the Court of Appeals.

Court: How would the Court of Appeals know how the jury made a determination, based on what you told me? In other words, you want me to instruct them on the statute?

State's Attorney: Yes, sir.

958 A.2d 301

Court: That if this defendant formed the intention to commit a sexual assault on this lady, and he formed that intention in the State of Maryland, and they so find, the fact that it happened in the District of Columbia makes no difference, that it could happen anywhere as long as he formed that intention, that is what you say the purpose of the statute is?

State's Attorney: That is correct, your Honor.

Court: All right. If they find it happened in the District.

Now suppose I agree with you and say you are absolutely right in your interpretation, then this case goes to the Court of Appeals and the Court of Appeals says this is not the law, didn't have any jurisdiction because it happened — they don't really know where it happened. How does the Court of Appeals know where it happened?

State's Attorney: Well, I guess they don't. I really don't think there is any reason for the statute to exist —

Court: You don't think there is any reason for the statute to exist other than this? You may be absolutely right. You don't want to submit it to the jury on special issue as to this, but you want them instructed that —

States Attorney: Special Instruction as to the statute.

Court: Well all right. But you think the statute is applicable. All right.

State's Attorney: Yes, sir.

Court: Do you [to Defense Counsel] agree with that, there should be a special issue before the jury as to where this sexual act occurred?

Defense Counsel: Assuming that the Court is ruling that this issue goes to the jury —

Court: Yes, that is a pretty good assumption at this time.

Defense Counsel: I understand that your Honor.

Court: All right.

Defense Counsel: I would submit that the Court's proposed method is the better method, and I would ask the Court to do that, to get a specific finding as to whether or not the incidents involving the sexual acts and the rapes took place in the District of Columbia or Maryland.

Court: All of them?

Defense Counsel: Assuming all of them go to the jury, your Honor, I would assume those questions would have to be answered definitely. I think the jury does have to find —

Court: Let's assume I do it that way, what is the burden of proof on that issue?

Defense Counsel: It is the same as the burden for any other —

Court: Anything else? You have to be...

To continue reading

Request your trial
60 practice notes
  • Coleman v. Soccer Ass'n of Columbia, No. 9
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 9, 2013
    ...decision was "clearly wrong and contrary to established principles," Tracey, 427 Md. at 659, 50 A.3d at 1093 (quoting State v. Adams, 406 Md. 240, 259, 958 A.2d 295, 307 (2008)), or (2) "when precedent has been superseded by significant changes in the law or facts." Id. (citing Harrison, 29......
  • Bodeau v. State, No. 1365, Sept. Term, 2019
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 1, 2020
    ...several years thereafter, any coram nobis petition filed by Bodeau would have been flatly rejected on waiver grounds. See State v. Adams , 406 Md. 240, 958 A.2d 295 (2008) (concluding that appellant had waived a post-conviction challenge to improper advisory-only instructions by not objecti......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 189, Sept. Term, 2015.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 29, 2016
    ...Md. 1, 14 [862 A.2d 33] (2004) (quoting Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 827 [111 S.Ct. 2597, 115 L.Ed.2d 720] (1991) ); State v. Adams, 406 Md. 240, 259 [958 A.2d 295] (2009 [2008] ). Its purpose is “ ‘to insure that people are guided in their personal and business dealings by prior court......
  • Rogers v. State, No. 32, Sept. Term, 2019
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • March 31, 2020
    ...468 Md. 88 been recognized as an appropriate device to create an unambiguous record for appeal in a criminal case, see State v. Adams, 406 Md. 240, 294, 958 A.2d 295 (2008), overruled on other grounds , Unger v. State, 427 Md. 383, 48 A.3d 242 (2012), not to have a jury make a finding that ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
60 cases
  • Coleman v. Soccer Ass'n of Columbia, No. 9
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • July 9, 2013
    ...decision was "clearly wrong and contrary to established principles," Tracey, 427 Md. at 659, 50 A.3d at 1093 (quoting State v. Adams, 406 Md. 240, 259, 958 A.2d 295, 307 (2008)), or (2) "when precedent has been superseded by significant changes in the law or facts." Id. (citing Harrison, 29......
  • Bodeau v. State, No. 1365, Sept. Term, 2019
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • October 1, 2020
    ...several years thereafter, any coram nobis petition filed by Bodeau would have been flatly rejected on waiver grounds. See State v. Adams , 406 Md. 240, 958 A.2d 295 (2008) (concluding that appellant had waived a post-conviction challenge to improper advisory-only instructions by not objecti......
  • State v. Johnson, No. 189, Sept. Term, 2015.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 29, 2016
    ...Md. 1, 14 [862 A.2d 33] (2004) (quoting Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 827 [111 S.Ct. 2597, 115 L.Ed.2d 720] (1991) ); State v. Adams, 406 Md. 240, 259 [958 A.2d 295] (2009 [2008] ). Its purpose is “ ‘to insure that people are guided in their personal and business dealings by prior court......
  • Rogers v. State, No. 32, Sept. Term, 2019
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • March 31, 2020
    ...468 Md. 88 been recognized as an appropriate device to create an unambiguous record for appeal in a criminal case, see State v. Adams, 406 Md. 240, 294, 958 A.2d 295 (2008), overruled on other grounds , Unger v. State, 427 Md. 383, 48 A.3d 242 (2012), not to have a jury make a finding that ......
  • 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