Judges rule to retry man convicted of murder in 1993
Agreeing with a lower court's finding that defense lawyers did a poor job, a three-judge appellate panel ruled yesterday that Albert Givens should be retried on charges of murdering a 55-year-old Arnold woman who hired him to do chores.
The Court of Special Appeals, in a 21-page opinion, agreed with a 1999 ruling by Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Michael E. Loney. The judges said both of Givens' lawyers, Paul Kirby and Timothy Murnane, "were deficient in not requesting a postponement prior to trial."
At the time of Givens' trial in 1993, Murnane was involved in a high-profile drug trial. Although Murnane and Kirby were long aware of the schedule conflict, they did not ask the judge who would be presiding over Givens' trial to change the date.
With jurors chosen, Kirby asked for a postponement the morning of the trial. Murnane was in trial in another courtroom, and when then-Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. denied the request, Kirby handled the defense alone.
The jury convicted Givens, of Annapolis, of the murder of Marlene Kilpatrick, who had been stabbed, bludgeoned and sexually assaulted Jan. 2, 1992. On July 23, 1993, he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
DNA evidence was retested in 1999 under an agreement between prosecutors and the defense, and prosecutors said the results favored the state's case.
State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said he may consider asking the attorney general's office to appeal the ruling to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.
Cape St. Claire man dies in Annapolis car crash
A 22-year-old Cape St. Claire man died in a fiery crash yesterday morning in Annapolis, authorities said.
Jesse Carson of Shipsview Road was trapped in the passenger seat of a Jeep that ran off Forest Drive near Young's Farm Road, struck a light pole and tree, then burst into flames.
Friends who had been following the Jeep were able to rescue the 22-year-old driver, Lance Cassell of Hillendale in Baltimore County, according to Annapolis city police.
Cassell was flown to Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center with head injures and burns, and was listed in serious condition.
The accident is under investigation by city and county police.
Investigation of gun in cell turns up inmate log error
County police officials, investigating how a loaded stolen semiautomatic handgun ended up in Southern District holding cell Friday, said yesterday they have determined that the inmate log was not maintained properly.
Capt. Thomas A. Suit said the log failed to show that one inmate had been moved into the cell where the .25-caliber gun was discovered in a small open space on the side of the urinal-water fountain combination unit.
The less-than-thorough documentation was not the biggest problem, said Suit, the district commander.
"The biggest problem is that a gun was brought into our station, then into our booking area and strangely enough ended up in the cellblock," he said. "It's a grave concern of mine."
Not even officers are allowed to carry weapons in the booking area.