Case Law Update October 8-12, 2012

State v. Cleveland, A12A1148 (10/5/12): Car stopped for seat belt violation. D seated in back kept acting nervous and moving around. Officer also knew D previously arrested for drugs.  Terry pat down ruled valid but search of shoes exceeded the scope and drugs suppressed. [great analysis of Terry and pat downs]

Henley v. State, A12A1542 (10/3/12): During probation revocation hearing, the only evidence submitted that D committed a new felony offense was hearsay (there was other non-hearsay evidence that D committed misdemeanors).  Appellate court remands trial court’s ruling that revoked D’s probation for 4 years (max having to be 2 years).

Fisher v. State, A12A0976 (10/3/12): Held that trial court’s curative instruction was sufficient.  Nonetheless, watch out for the “golden rule” argument. In closing, prosecutor after discussing what the V must have felt during the crime: “what we can do is make sure that the people, each and every one of them that participated in that, are responsible for what happened because let me tell you[,] that could have been you, that could have been me, and that could have been our children that walked into that store.”

Case Law Update week of October 1-5, 2012

Case law update…Week of October 1-5, 2012

Grill v. State, S12A1177 (10/1/12): Defendant convicted for two counts of aggravated assault when he fired at the victim in quick succession. Citing a prior case, Supreme Court vacated one of the counts holding “[w]hen a victim suffers multiple wounds inflicted in quick succession, each infliction of injury does not constitute a separate assault.”

Simmons v. State, S12A0979 (10/1/12): As the first appearance judge was reading the charges and rights, Defendant spontaneously stated “I”m guilty, I’m guilty”. Supreme Court held these statements are admissible.

Johnson v, State, S12A1225 (10/1/12): Juror allowed to remain on the jury in spite of the fact that he said said that he expects the defendant to testify. Supreme Court held that juror’s later statement that he would do his best to follow the law as instructed was enough for him not to be struck for cause.

McBride v. State, S12A0843 (10/1/12): Evidence properly excluded where Defendant attempted to introduce evidence that the victim was smoking marijuana or distributing drugs at the time of his demise. Supreme Court held that there was insufficient factual nexus between this evidence and the conclusion for which it was being offered.

Leger v. State, S12A0833 (10/1/12): Supreme Court held evidence properly admitted: (1) A book titled FUGITIVE: How to Run, Hide, and Survive that was found in Defendant’s house since it is potentially evidence of flight which is relevant to question of guilt; (2) Defendant’s tattoo “God forgive me” that he got sometime after victim’s death and before his jury trial.

State v. Wilson, A12A1122 (9/25/12): Good and brief explanation of general and special demurrers.

State v. Wolf, A12A1117 (9/28/12): MTS upheld. Mailman calls the police after observing a vehicle with 3 occupants leaving a residence (suspected burglary). A day later, officer patrolling area (area with high number of burglaries) sees the same type vehicle and stops it. Drugs suppressed as Court of Appeals finds no a/s or p/c. [great opinion to review]