Judge denies dismissal move in fatal Annapolis carjacking

The Baltimore Sun

A federal judge denied a request yesterday to dismiss the case against an Annapolis man on trial in Baltimore in a fatal carjacking.

U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson rejected defense attorney Kenneth W. Ravenell's argument that prosecutors did not file the appropriate documents to try Leeander Jerome Blake, now 22, as an adult.

Blake was a juvenile when Straughan Lee Griffin was shot in September 2002 as he unloaded his groceries outside his home in Annapolis' Historic District. Griffin's assailants then ran him over with his sport utility vehicle.

Prosecutors said the paperwork was unnecessary because Blake was an adult when charged in September last year.

An Anne Arundel County judge dismissed charges against Blake in 2005 after the state's highest court said Annapolis police botched the case and the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the prosecutors' appeal.

Blake, who was arrested shortly after Griffin's death, had requested a lawyer during questioning, but an officer taunted him and Blake soon gave incriminating statements.

A county jury convicted Blake's neighbor, Terrance Tolbert, 24, in 2005 for his role in the crime. He is serving a life sentence, plus 30 years.

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