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Jones v. State

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

August 30, 2013

KEVIN E. JONES
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

Graeff, Kenney, James A., III (Retired, Specially Assigned), Thieme, Raymond G., Jr. (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ.

OPINION

Graeff, J.

Appellant, Kevin E. Jones, was charged in the Circuit Court for Somerset County with multiple counts each of attempted first and second degree murder, first and second degree assault, and reckless endangerment, as well as one count of wearing, carrying, and transporting a handgun and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. A jury convicted appellant of two counts of second degree assault, of Ms. Christine Johnson and Ms. Nikita Tindley, and three counts of reckless endangerment, of Ms. Johnson, Ms. Tindley, and Ms. Johnson's seven-year-old grandson, Devonte Bowen. The court sentenced appellant to ten years for the assault conviction against Ms. Johnson, ten years, consecutive, for the assault conviction against Ms. Tindley, and five years, suspended, for the conviction of reckless endangerment of Devonte Bowen.[1]

On appeal, appellant presents the following question for our review:
Was the evidence sufficient to support appellant's conviction for second degree assault of Christine Johnson?
For the reasons set forth below, we shall affirm the judgments of the circuit court.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On the evening of September 17, 2010, Ms. Tindley was in an apartment in Somerset County with, among others, her mother, Ms. Johnson, and her nephew, Devonte Bowen.[2] After midnight, there was a knock on the apartment door. Ms. Tindley opened the door and saw appellant, whom she had met earlier that evening, accompanied by two other males. She explained what happened next as follows:

He was like where the Niggers at[?] And I was like what Niggers? And he went down to his pants. So I closed the door. And my mom was on her way to the door I said, mom, don't go to the door they got a gun. And by th[at] time then shots was fired. So everybody was getting down in the house and stuff. And I called the police since I was the one that identify him.

At the time the shots were fired, Devonte was on the computer in the living room.

Ms. Tindley was terrified by the gun shots. She did not understand why appellant would shoot through the door when she had been standing there seconds earlier. Ms. Tindley heard three gunshots.

Ms. Johnson testified that, on the night of the shooting, she heard a knock on the apartment door. Ms. Tindley answered the door, and Ms. Johnson heard a voice ask: "[W]here them Niggers at[?]" Ms. Tindley said: "[N]obody here, " and she closed the door. Ms. Johnson began to approach the front door, but she ran into the bathroom after Ms. Tindley said: "[M]om, don't go to the door they got a gun." Ms. Johnson told Devonte to get down and go to her room, and then three shots came through the door. Ms. Johnson was scared. Ms. Tindley called the police, and officers arrived at the scene within five minutes.

Officer Dave Adams, a member of the Princess Anne Police Department, was dispatched to the apartment at approximately 1:13 a.m. on September 18, 2010. Officer Adams met Ms. Johnson, her grandson, and Ms. Tindley at the scene. He recovered bullets from the center of the front door, the living room wall, and the wall of the back bedroom, where a bullet came to rest after passing through a child's playpen.

While conducting witness interviews in the apartment complex parking lot, Officer Adams observed a blue, compact, four-door car enter the lot. After the vehicle was parked several doors down from the crime scene, several individuals, including appellant, exited the vehicle. Ms. Tindley identified appellant as the individual who had fired a weapon through her apartment door, and Officer Adams took appellant into investigative detention.

Byron Johnson testified that he and Demetrius Rogers picked up appellant and Andre Schoolfield on the night of September 17, 2010. Appellant advised that, earlier that day, he had been involved in an altercation with two boys. They drove to Wink Lane Apartments, and Mr. Johnson heard a gun "getting loaded, heard the chamber set, " and he saw appellant with a gun "through [his] peripheral." ...


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