Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. will appeal to the Supreme Court in the case of an Annapolis murder suspect who was freed from jail after a lower court ruled that police had violated his constitutional rights, a spokesman said last night.
Curran met with criminal appeals experts on his staff yesterday and will appeal the ruling and recent release of Leeander Jerome Blake, said the attorney general's spokesman, Kevin Enright.
Blake was accused of first-degree murder in the shooting Sept. 19, 2002, of Annapolis resident Straughan Lee Griffin near his home in the city's historic district.
Blake was released from the Anne Arundel County Jail on Tuesday after the Court of Appeals - the state's highest court - ruled that Annapolis police had violated his constitutional rights during questioning after Griffin's death.
According to state law, prosecutors cannot refile charges against Blake because they appealed to the highest court and lost. The Supreme Court is their only option.
In the appeal, the attorney general's office indicated it will likely argue that the Blake case raises questions about Miranda rights that have not been clearly answered by lower courts. Curran's office has about 90 days to file the appeal.
Blake's alleged accomplice, Annapolis resident Terrence Tolbert, was released from prison under similar circumstances. However, prosecutors were able to refile charges, and Tolbert's trial is set for the fall.