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Jones v. State

Court of Appeals of Maryland

November 19, 2014

KEVIN E. JONES
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

Argued: October 6, 2014

Circuit Court for Somerset County Case No. 19-K-10-009451

Barbera, C.J., Harrell, Battaglia, Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, JJ.

OPINION

WATTS, J.

We decide whether a defendant can commit second-degree assault of the intent-to-frighten type against a victim of whose presence in particular the defendant does not know. We hold that a defendant can do so.

BACKGROUND

The State, Respondent, charged Kevin E. Jones ("Jones"), Petitioner, with various criminal offenses, including second-degree assault of the intent-to-frighten type against Christine Johnson ("Johnson"). In the Circuit Court for Somerset County ("the circuit court"), a jury tried and convicted Jones.

Because Jones contends that the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction, we summarize the evidence that the State offered at trial.

Byron Johnson ("Byron") testified as follows. On the night of September 17, 2010, Byron and Jones were passengers in a car. Jones said that "he [had] got[ten] into an altercation with two boys" at Wink Lane Apartments. Byron heard a gun being loaded. Out of the corner of his eye, Byron saw Jones holding a gun. Eventually, the car stopped near Wink Lane Apartments. While Byron remained in the car, Jones exited the car, walked to an apartment's front door, and knocked on it. A woman answered the door. Jones asked: "[W]here the two [n]s at[?]" Byron heard "yelling." The woman shut the door, and Byron heard three gunshots. Jones returned to the car and said that "he was going to kill . . . the two boys [whom] he was trying to get."

Nikita Tindley ("Tindley"), Johnson's daughter, testified as follows. On the morning of September 18, 2010, [1] Tindley, Johnson, and others were in an apartment at Wink Lane Apartments. Jones knocked on the apartment's front door. Tindley opened the door. Jones asked: "[W]here the [n]s at[?]" Jones reached toward his pants. Tindley shut the door, saw Johnson approaching the door, and said: "[D]on't go to the door[, ] they got a gun." Tindley heard three gunshots.

Johnson testified as follows. Tindley shut the door; Johnson approached the door; and Tindley said: "[D]on't go to the door[, ] they got a gun." Johnson "hollered" to her grandson, who was in the living room: "[G]et down[.]" Johnson heard three gunshots, which frightened her.

Officer Dave Adams of the Princess Anne Police Department testified that he went to the apartment in which Tindley and Johnson had been and found: a bullet hole in the front door; a bullet hole above the front door; a bullet in a wall in the living room; and a bullet in a wall in a rear bedroom.

The jury convicted Jones of crimes, including second-degree assault of the intent-to-frighten type against Johnson. Jones appealed, and the Court of Special Appeals affirmed. See Jones v. State, 213 Md.App. 208, 222, 73 A.3d 1136, 1145 (2013). Jones filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, [2] ...


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