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Harrison-Solomon v. State

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

February 25, 2014

Aaron HARRISON-SOLOMON
v.
STATE of Maryland.

Page 311

Nenutzka C. Villamar (Paul B. DeWolfe, Public Defender, on the brief) Baltimore, MD, for appellant.

Gary E. O'Connor (Douglas F. Gansler, Atty. Gen., on the brief) Baltimore, MD, for appellee.

Panel: WOODWARD, GRAEFF, RAYMOND G. THIEME, JR. (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ.

GRAEFF, J.

[216 Md.App. 139] Aaron Harrison-Solomon, appellant, was found guilty of various crimes on two occasions, one pursuant to a plea and the other by a jury. He was found, however, to be not criminally responsible (" NCR" ), and he was committed to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (" DHMH" ) for institutional care and treatment. On June 3, 2006, he was released subject to certain conditions, including that he remain on medication and submit to continued monitoring of his mental health.

[216 Md.App. 140] Several days before the Order of Conditional Release (" OCR" ) was due to expire,

Page 312

DHMH sought a four-year extension of the OCR, asserting that: (1) appellant had indicated that he intended to stop taking his medication upon his release; and (2) appellant's physician recommended against termination of the OCR. After the date on which the OCR was scheduled to expire, the Circuit Court for Prince George's County granted DHMH's petition. The court subsequently denied appellant's Motion to Alter or Amend.

On appeal, appellant presents one question for our review, which we have rephrased slightly, as follows:

Where appellant was committed to DHMH pursuant to a NCR finding and subsequently conditionally released, did the circuit court err in extending the OCR for an additional four years when its order issued after the date that the OCR was scheduled to expire?

For the reasons set forth below, we shall affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Because the issue on appeal relates, not to the facts underlying appellant's convictions, but the extension of the OCR, we need not set forth the facts adduced at trial. See Washington v. State, 190 Md.App. 168, 171, 988 A.2d 61 (2010). Rather, we briefly will state the nature of the case, as well as the facts and somewhat complicated procedural history of the case that led to this appeal.

On June 15, 1999, appellant pled guilty to two counts of assault in the second degree in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, Case No. CT98-0278X. The court determined that he was NCR pursuant to Md.Code (1994 Repl.Vol.) § 12-111 of the Health-General Article (" H.G." ) and committed him to DHMH.[1]

[216 Md.App. 141] On March 23, 2000, the court issued an OCR. On December 21, 2001, appellant was indicted for, among other things, robbery, assault, and use of a handgun during the commission of a felony or a crime of violence. The initial OCR was rescinded, and the previous commitment to DHMH was reimposed.

On December 12, 2002, a jury found appellant guilty, but NCR, of robbery and use of a handgun in the commission of a

Page 313

felony or crime of violence. The court again committed appellant to DHMH, at that time pursuant to Maryland Code (2001) § 3-112(a) of the Criminal Procedure (" CP" ) Article. [2]

On April 25, 2006, an administrative law judge (" ALJ" ) held a conditional release hearing at Spring Grove Hospital [216 Md.App. 142] (" Spring Grove" ). She recommended that appellant be conditionally released for five years. On July 3, 2006, the circuit court, on review of this recommendation, granted appellant's motion for conditional release.[3]

The court found:

(1) That [appellant] has a mental disorder; and
(2) By reason of that mental disorder, [appellant] would not be a danger to himself or to the person or property of others if not confined in an institution for in-patient care of [sic] treatment, but would be such a danger if released into the community without the special conditions enumerated below.

It ordered that appellant

be conditionally released from [Spring Grove] subject to the following conditions, all of which shall be in effect for five (5) years:
1. [Appellant] shall reside at the Home Run Program [[4]] ... and shall follow all of the requirements set forth by the Home Run staff as well as the staff of [Spring Grove]. Thereafter, any change in residence must be approved in writing by the clinicians of the Home Run Program (and [Spring Grove] ) as well as the Court, and sent to the DHMH Representative and the Community Forensic Aftercare Program (the " CFAP" ) prior to change.
2. [Appellant] shall be seen by mental health personnel at the Home Run Program. Should there be any change [216 Md.App. 143] regarding any other community health program, permission must be obtained consistent with that referenced in paragraph one.
3. [Appellant] shall take psychiatric medication as prescribed by his psychiatrist and other physicians and shall participate in laboratory tests that are ordered for the purpose of monitoring the medication.

The OCR set forth multiple other conditions, including that appellant " shall not take illicit drugs or use alcohol," " shall attend Narcotics Anonymous and/or Alcoholics Anonymous as frequently as directed by his therapist," and " shall not own, possess, or use ... any firearm or weapon." The OCR further provided:

16. During his period of conditional release, [appellant] shall remain subject to the jurisdiction of the Court, to the general supervision of ...

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