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Hayes v. State

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

May 1, 2014

LANCE WILLIAM HAYES
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, John Paul Davey, Judge.

Argued by: Erica J. Suter of Greenbelt, MD for Appellant.

Argued by: Ryan R. Dietrich (Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General on the brief) all of Baltimore, MD for Appellee.

Panel: Eyler, Deborah S., Meredith, Graeff, JJ.

OPINION

Page 1198

[217 Md.App. 162] Eyler, Deborah S., J.

After a three-day trial, a jury in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County convicted Lance William Hayes, the appellant, of attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, and wearing and carrying a handgun. Hayes was sentenced to a total of 53 years active incarceration.

On appeal, Hayes poses three questions for review, which we have rephrased

Page 1199

slightly:[1]

I. Did the trial court commit reversible error by refusing to ask his requested voir dire question about racial bias?
[217 Md.App. 163] II. Did the trial court err in admitting a hearsay statement made by the victim as a prior consistent statement?
III. Did the prosecutor's comments during the State's closing argument constitute plain error?

We answer Question I in the affirmative, and on that ground shall reverse the judgments of the circuit court and remand the case for further proceedings. Given our disposition, we need not address the remaining questions.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

On the evening of October 28, 2011, Herman Grace was shot outside his home as he was returning from church with his wife, Debra Grace. He survived, and at trial identified Hayes as the shooter. Hayes has a child with the Graces' daughter, Kevia Spencer. The State theorized that Hayes shot Herman Grace because he blamed him for an unfavorable custody determination that had been finalized a few days before the shooting.

We shall include additional facts as relevant to ...


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