New FBI headquarters faces prospect of indefinite delay

Top Md. court upholds conviction in murder of bystander outside her Middle River home

The state's highest court has upheld the murder and related convictions of a Dundalk man who police said was involved in a 2009 drug deal gone awry and fatally shot a bystander as she was speaking with relatives who had returned from church.

In a decision issued Tuesday, a unanimous Court of Appeals rejected all of Warren Jerome Yates' claims, including that Baltimore County prosecutors lacked evidence to prove he committed a second-degree felony murder. Yates was convicted in 2009 of that, along with weapons, drug and assault charges, and sentenced to a total of 75 years in prison.

The case revolved around a Jan. 7, 2009 drug deal that police said soured. Prosecutors contended that Yates chased the buyer after realizing that the $4,400 in cash the man paid for a four-pound trash bag of marijuana was a roll of fake money wrapped in a real $100 bill. As the man ran with the bag, Yates took off after him, firing as the man darted across the lawn of 58-year-old Shirley Worcester, who was standing in the driveway of her Middle River home, prosecutors maintained. She was shot and killed.

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