Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Johnson v. State

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland

May 31, 2016

MICHAEL ANTHONY JOHNSON
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

          Meredith, Woodward, Friedman, JJ.

          OPINION

          Woodward, J.

         Michael Johnson, appellant, was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County of one count of stalking, ten counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of harassment, ten counts of harassment by electronic mail ("email"), and fifty counts of violating a protective order. As a result, the court imposed concurrent and consecutive sentences which, in the aggregate, totaled eighty-five years and ninety days' imprisonment.

         On appeal, appellant raises the following questions, [1] which we have slightly reworded:

1. Did the trial court err by failing to merge appellant's ten convictions for email harassment under Section 3-805 of the Criminal Law Article, which punishes a "course of conduct"?
2. Did the trial court err by failing to merge appellant's fifty convictions for violating a protective order into nine convictions, based on conduct occurring on nine separate days?
3. Did by trial court err by failing to merge two of appellant's reckless endangerment convictions based on the conduct of posting material to Craigslist.org?
4. Did the trial court err by permitting the victim to testify in rebuttal to appellant's prior convictions of assault and violation of a protective order?
5. Did the trial court err in admitting printouts of emails the victim said were sent by appellant?

         For the following reasons, we shall answer these questions in the negative and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of the circuit court.

         BACKGROUND

         Angell Williams and appellant were married and in 2010 had a son together; they separated in the summer of 2010 and divorced in September 2011. In July 2010, Williams obtained a protective order against appellant. On February 27, 2011, appellant was arrested for violating the protective order. Appellant went to jail, but was released the same night. On February 28, 2011, appellant attacked Williams as she was getting into her car; he was arrested for second degree assault, found guilty of violating the protective order and assaulting Williams, and sentenced to a year of imprisonment.

         On June 20, 2012, Williams could not log into her MSN email account. When she tried to reset her password, she noticed that the recovery email address listed was not hers, but instead was that of Mikejohnson516@yahoo.com, appellant's email address. That same day, three to four men came to Williams's home and said they were responding to a sex ad on Craigslist. One such man showed Williams the ad on his phone; the ad contained old pictures of Williams, her name and address, as well as an invitation for men to come to Williams's home and have sex with her. Williams, who had not placed the ad, called 911. The police came to her home, but said that there was nothing they could do without proof of who created the ad.

         On June 21, 2012, Williams received messages from several of her friends on Facebook, asking Williams why she created another Facebook page. Williams went on Facebook and saw the new page, which, like the Craigslist ad, contained old pictures of Williams, as well as her address and prices listed for various sex acts. Williams recognized that the pictures were from her hacked MSN email account. Also on June 21, 2012, Williams received an email message from Gmail notifying her that she had attempted to reset the password for her email account. Williams notified Gmail that she had not attempted to reset her password. On June 21, 2012, approximately forty men came to Williams's home in response to sex ads. One of these men showed her the Craigslist ad to which he was responding. The ad read:

This is real, rape me. I want some guys to knock on my door. When I open it, smack me, push me down, rip my panties off, fuck me and leave me. No talking, just rape me and go. If your [sic] down, no emails, just come over, 7300 18th Ave, Apartment 202, Hyattsville, Maryland 20783, map quest it and come on over. Real men step up.

         On June 23, 2012, as men were still coming to Williams's home, Williams received emails from Mikejohnson516@yahoo.com, appellant's email account. The first email read: "You having fun yet." Williams replied: "Stop[] sending people to my house to have sex with my kids and me. That's solicitation." Appellant responded, "Don't know what you're talking about, but maybe we can work something out so I can make it stop for you." Williams responded, "Maybe your probation officer can help me;" a condition of appellant's probation was to have no contact with Williams. Appellant replied:

301-699-3644, Agent Jones, call when you're ready, don't see how that will stop your problem since I heard your address is posted on a lot of adult websites; and I think I could help you get them down. But, if I'm not here, maybe they will stay up there. Whoever put them up there must not know it's some crazy people out there. Be safe from leaving your house. Hope nobody hangs around, but, like I said, maybe we can work something out.

         The email exchanges continued; that same day, Williams filed a petition for a protective order against appellant and received a temporary protective order. She also called 911 and gave the police who responded a copy of the temporary order. The police said that they would attempt to serve appellant with such order.

         Williams received another email from appellant on June 24, 2012, which read:

Your life wasn't meant to be normal. You can try to be something you're not, but your life has never been normal for 32 years, so why do you think it's going to change. It's okay to lie to other people like your life is something it's not, but what about yourself? It will always catch up to you. This is how your life has been and always be. Love always, bye Big Head.

         Men were still coming to Williams's home at all hours of the day and night. Williams would tell the men that the ads were fake and ask what website had posted the ad; then she would contact that website and ask it to take down the ad. One ad posted on Blackplanet.com read:

Hello, I'm Angell. I'm looking for sex and sex only. I swallow. I do anal and groups up to five guys at once. If you're not in Maryland, DC or Virginia, please don't bother me. If you do live in the DMV, holla at your girl with that wet-wet and sloppy head. I live in Riggs Hill Condos, so if you close by, hit me up.

         Williams called 911 again on June 26, 2012, in an attempt to put a stop to the men responding to the ads. The police advised her to press charges for violation of a protective order, which she did the next day.

         On June 29, 2012, the circuit court held a hearing on the final protective order. Williams showed the court the emails and ads. The court granted the final protective order and ordered appellant to not have any contact with Williams.

         On July 6, 2012, as men were still coming to Williams's home, Williams received an email from riffraffshawn@yahoo.com. Williams had a friend with the stage name of Riffraff Shawn that appellant knew, but Williams and Shawn never exchanged emails. The email said: "It will be about 25-40 folks comin over between now and Saturday, so keep doin you and givin your number out and suckin and fuckin. I will have you workin in no time." A few hours later, Williams received a second email from the same address; it read: "Get a hotel room tomorrow and I will meet you there. Fuck me the whole day and it will stop. Don't and there will be no peace for you. I will have folks comin over there until you move."

         Williams, who suspected that the emails were coming from appellant, replied to the e-mail in the hopes that appellant would identify himself, and to figure out "how he could be set up" so that police could arrest him. Williams also called the police to ask them for help in catching appellant; she suggested that the police "book the hotel room and have him go there an[d] arrest him." The police told Williams to file charges, which she did that day. Williams also bought a shotgun to protect herself and her four children from appellant.

         Williams received additional emails from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com address on July 9, with further demands that Williams meet him at a hotel room. Williams replied, "Sure. I'll do it. I don't have a credit card or debit card though." Although Williams had no intentions of meeting him, she had hoped that appellant would stop posting the ads, as men were still coming to her home.

         On July 13, 2012, Williams received an email from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address with a new ad. The ad, which contained the same old photos of Williams that were from her hacked MSN email account, as well as her address, read: "Come over, looking for good dick." That same day, Williams received additional emails from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address pressuring her to meet him at a hotel. When Williams refused, she received the following response: "It's cool. I'm going on the kids['] school website and post your ad for sex since it don't matter." Williams received another email on July 13 with the post on the school website, which contained the same pictures and read:

Hi, my name is Angell Mary Williams. I'm the mother of [AC] and [CC] and I will have sex with there [sic] teachers in return for them getting passing grades. It can be for however long they attend the school and they get passing grades. I live at 7300 18th Avenue, Apartment 202, Hyattsville, MD 20783, and have done this at all there [sic] other schools and don't mind doing it here as well. Thank you, and hope we have a great year together.

         On July 14, Williams received the following email:

To whom may read this, the part of the investigation that leads to read this, I'm not sorry for the events that happened to Ms. Williams. All the chances to not let it get this far, but she refused to, so her blood is not on my hands. She should have known by now that all she had to do was one thing, and she played a joke with her own life. I know that you're reading this after the fact and look at me as a monster, but maybe she wanted it this way. That's why she chose to play with her life. That being said, I want to say good-bye to my mother and father and kids. I love them very much. I was a man pushed into this, pushed to do this. I hope Angell's mom will take care of her kids after this; and I hope they will grow up and not make the same mistakes. Your life is not a game because you should always do all you can do. Too bad Angell didn't. Bye.

         Williams continued to receive emails from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address on July 16, 2012, again pressuring Williams to book a hotel room and then threatening to kill her. One email read:

The best part about it is with all the people coming to your house at random, you don't know when it will be me. I started this plan a long time ago. The people in the building know all about the traffic you have had, people outside yelling your name. They open the door for folks so when I come, it won't even look strange, walk right up and kick the door in and you'll see the rest.

         Another email read:

I want to leave you alone and would have if you had got the room. And yes, I have changed. That's why I'm trying to give you a chance, but I know you think I'm joking or just trying to bully you, but you will know that I'm for real when I tie you up and fuck you in the ass with a broom stick. I'm not going to just kill you, but put you through pain first. That's how I know the police will kill me because I'm going to take my time with you, but enough with all the talk. See you soon. It's okay. I don't expect to live through this anyway.

(Emphasis added).

         Williams received another email that read: "I love it when I have the chance to prove my point. I swear on my grandmother's grave you will die. You can believe me or not unless your baby is superman and can stop bullets. See you soon." Williams received another email that day that read: "You'll wish you was back in your childhood getting raped, the things I'm going to do to you, then leave your dead raped body in the woods." Williams called the police on July 16, 2012, after receiving an e-mail that stated "that he was outside my house . . . come on to the balcony, I'll shoot you from there."

         Williams received additional emails from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address on July 17, 2012. One such email contained a video of someone being raped; the message read: "You should let the girls watch this so they will know what they got coming." Later that day, Williams received another email asking: "Are the girls there? I could have them cherries busted before you get back." On July 17, men were still coming to Williams's home "at the same frequency" as they had earlier in the summer.

         On July 18, 2012, Williams received more emails from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address; one such email referred to Williams as "Big Head, " appellant's nickname for Williams, and was signed "Love you always, Your Mike."

         On July 19, 2012, Williams received an email from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address that referred to Williams as "the mother of my child." Another email Williams received that day from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address contained an ad with the same photos and Williams's address, which read: "I'm a single parent looking to make some extra cash. I swallow. I do anal and groups." The email stated: "I have printed out 250 of those and will be passing them all over the DMV, putting them in barber shops, metro stations, malls, gas stations, office buildings, strip clubs, so be ready." Around fifty men came to Williams's home on July 19.

         On July 22, 2012, Williams received another email from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address that read: "I'm going to honk the horn. I'm in the red truck." At that point, Williams, who was inside her apartment, heard a horn honk. She went down to the landing of her apartment building and saw a red truck but could not see the driver's face; Williams called 911. The police arrived and arrested the man in the truck, who was not appellant.

         According to Williams, approximately 400 men, "maybe more, " came to her home between June 20 and July 22, 2012. Men came every single day during that span of time, and they would arrive at all hours of the day and night. Williams received no additional emails from the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email address after early August 2012.

         On August 1, 2012, Prince George's County police officers executed a search warrant for appellant's mother's home, which was the physical address associated with the IP address for the riffraffshawn@yahoo.com email account. The police seized multiple computers, along with photo identifications of appellant, one of which was from the Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission. Appellant was not present at the time of the search.

         Appellant was arrested on August 14, 2012. A jury trial was held in the circuit court from June 10 through June 12, 2013. As previously stated, the jury convicted appellant of one count of stalking, two counts of harassment, ten counts of harassment by electronic mail, ten counts of reckless endangerment, and fifty counts of violating a protective order. On July 18, 2013, the court sentenced appellant to a total of eighty-five years and ninety days' incarceration, broken down as follows:

• 1 count of stalking: 5 years, with credit for 351 days served
• 1 count of harassment: 90 days, consecutive
• 1 count of harassment: 90 days, concurrent
• 4 counts of reckless endangerment: 5 years, consecutive
• 6 counts of reckless endangerment: 5 years, concurrent
• 10 counts of harassment by electronic mail: 1 year, consecutive
• 50 counts of violating a protective order: 1 year, consecutive

         Appellant filed a timely appeal on August 5, 2013. Additional facts will be presented as necessary to resolve the questions presented.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Merger of Email ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.