Walker v. State, 011718 MDSCA, 2830

Docket Nº:2830
Party Name:DONTA WALKER v. STATE OF MARYLAND
Judge Panel:Leahy, Reed, Zarnoch, Robert A., (Senior Judge, Specially Assigned), JJ.
Case Date:January 17, 2018
Court:Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
 
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DONTA WALKER

v.

STATE OF MARYLAND

No. 2830

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

January 17, 2018

         Circuit Court for Baltimore City Case No. 101081033

          Leahy, Reed, Zarnoch, Robert A., (Senior Judge, Specially Assigned), JJ.

          OPINION [*]

         On March 22, 2001 appellant Donta Walker ("Walker") was charged in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City with the shooting of Albert Simpson ("Simpson"). On March 27, 2002, Walker entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to life with all but fifty years suspended for murder in the first degree and twenty years' incarceration to be served concurrently for the use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence. On August 7, 2015, the State filed a Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence. The circuit court granted the State's motion, adding a five-year term of probation to Walker's sentence.

         Walker appealed and presents one question for our review, which we have rephrased as follows: Whether the circuit court erred by adding a five-year probationary period to Walker's sentence, which was originally imposed pursuant to a plea agreement.

         For the following reasons, we affirm the decision of the circuit court.

         BACKGROUND

         On February 19, 2001, Appellant Donta Walker ("Walker") got into the back of a vehicle operated by Albert Simpson, who was working as an unlicensed taxi driver on Harper Road in Baltimore. Walker shot Simpson in the back of his head, killing him, and pushed Simpson out of the vehicle.1 He allowed a witness, who was inside of the vehicle, to live but threatened to kill her if she talked to the police. On March 22, 2001, Walker was charged in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City with one count of murder in the first degree, one count of using a handgun in the commission of a crime, and other weapon-related charges.2

         Walker entered into a plea agreement on March 27, 2002, after Walker's trial began and the witness to the shooting testified. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the circuit court sentenced Walker to life with all but fifty years suspended, plus twenty years to be served concurrently. On August 7, 2015, the State filed a Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence. After a hearing on February 18, 2016, the circuit court denied Walker's request for a new trial, granted the State's motion to correct the sentence, and resentenced Walker, adding a five-year term of probation to his original sentence. Walker timely appealed to this Court.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Maryland Rule 4-345(a) confers revisory power on courts to correct an illegal sentence at any time. The following standard of review is applied to determine whether a sentence is illegal and requires correction: Rule 4-345(a) appellate review deals only with legal questions, not factual or procedural questions. Deference as to factfinding or to discretionary decisions is not involved. Once the outer boundary markers for a sentence are objectively established, the only question is whether...

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