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Givens v. State

Court of Appeals of Maryland

August 22, 2016

DOMINIC GIVENS
v.
STATE OF MARYLAND

          Argued: May 5, 2016

         Circuit Court for Prince George's County Case No. CT120050C

          Barbera, C.J. Greene Adkins McDonald Watts Hotten Battaglia, Lynne A. (Retired, Specially Assigned), JJ.

          OPINION

          Watts, J.

         Factually and legally inconsistent verdicts have vexed litigants and been the subject of Maryland appellate opinions in both civil cases and criminal cases for decades. One such case of significant impact is Price v. State, 405 Md. 10, 29, 949 A.2d 619, 630 (2008), in which this Court held that guilty verdicts cannot be legally inconsistent with not-guilty verdicts in the case of a trial by jury.

         In Price, although this Court determined that legal inconsistency in verdicts is not permissible, this Court was not confronted with other questions concerning inconsistent verdicts, such as whether a guilty verdict can be factually inconsistent with a not-guilty verdict in a criminal case with a jury.[1] This Court has since answered that question in the affirmative. See McNeal v. State, 426 Md. 455, 462, 44 A.3d 982, 986 (2012) ("We shall hold that the Court's opinion in Price does not apply to jury verdicts in criminal cases that are merely inconsistent factually . . . . In doing so, we preserve the historic role of the jury as the sole fact-finder in criminal jury trials.").

         This case presents another issue that the Court was not called upon to address in Price: namely, the manner in which a defendant in a criminal case preserves for review an issue as to allegedly inconsistent verdicts.[2] In Price, although this issue was not before the Court, in a concurring opinion, Judge Glenn T. Harrell, Jr. provided guidance on the matter. Judge Harrell, in his concurrence in Price, and, indeed, the Court of Special Appeals in multiple cases, and the vast majority of courts in other jurisdictions that have addressed the issue, have concluded that, to preserve for review an issue as to allegedly inconsistent verdicts, a defendant in a criminal trial by jury must object to the allegedly inconsistent verdicts before the verdicts become final and the trial court discharges the jury.

         For the below reasons, we agree with Judge Harrell's concurrence, the Court of Special Appeals, and the authority from other jurisdictions, and hold that, to preserve the issue of legally inconsistent verdicts for appellate review, a defendant in a criminal trial by jury must object or make known any opposition to the allegedly inconsistent verdicts before the verdicts become final and the trial court discharges the jury.

         BACKGROUND

         Charges

         In an indictment dated February 24, 2012, in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County ("the circuit court"), the State, Respondent, charged Dominic Givens ("Givens"), Petitioner, as to various victims with one count of first-degree premeditated murder, three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and robbery, three counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit the same, and six counts of use of a firearm in the commission a crime of violence. The victims were identified as Marvin Darrell Tomlinson ("Tomlinson"), Jeramy Dobbs ("Dobbs"), Antwan Wilkins ("Antwan"), Tyrell Jones ("Jones"), Reginald Langley ("Langley"), and Jayvon Wilkins ("Jayvon").[3] According to the indictment, Givens's co-conspirators were Trevon Marquise Montgomery ("Montgomery"), Ronald Minor ("Minor"), and Dajuan Jamal Brooks ("Brooks").[4]

         State's Theory, Trial Testimony, and Stipulations

         The State's theory of the case was that Givens, Montgomery, Minor, and Brooks robbed Jones, Langley, and Jayvon, and attempted to rob Tomlinson, Dobbs, and Antwan, and that Tomlinson was fatally shot during the attempted robbery. Four of the five surviving victims-Jones, Langley, Antwan, and Jayvon-testified at trial as witnesses for the State.[5]

         Jones testified that, on or about November 15, 2011, he, Langley, Antwan, Jayvon, Tomlinson, and Dobbs stopped at a playground on the way to a store. A van pulled up, and at least four or five people, including Montgomery, [6] got out of the van. Montgomery was holding a gun. The people from the van told the victims to "get down" and said: "You know what time it is."[7] As the victims lay on the ground, the robbers used the gun to hit Tomlinson in the head multiple times. Meanwhile, Montgomery took Jones's jacket and money, Jayvon's jacket and shoes, Antwan's jacket, and Langley's money. Before any of the robbers could take anything from Tomlinson or Dobbs, Tomlinson got up and "rushed" toward the gun, which was in Montgomery's hand. Tomlinson told the other victims to run. Jones, Langley, Antwan, and Jayvon fled and climbed over a nearby wall. As he climbed over the wall, Jones heard gunshots. Jones testified that he did not recognize anyone in the courtroom as one of the robbers. During his testimony, Jones did not mention Givens.

         Langley testified that, on November 15, 2011, he, Jones, Antwan, Jayvon, and Tomlinson stopped at a playground on the way home from a store. A van pulled up, and four or five people, including Montgomery and Minor, [8] got out of the van. Montgomery was holding a gun. The people from the van said "You know what time it is" and "Lay everything down." As the victims lay on the ground, the robbers patted the victims' pockets. One of the robbers took money from Langley. The robbers used the gun to hit Langley and Tomlinson. The gun fell to ground, and Tomlinson told the other victims to run. Jones, Langley, Antwan, and Jayvon fled and climbed over a nearby wall. As he climbed over the wall, Langley heard two gunshots. Langley testified that he did not recognize anyone in the courtroom as one of the robbers. During his testimony, Langley did not mention Givens.

         Antwan testified that, on November 15, 2011, he, Jones, Langley, Jayvon, and Tomlinson stopped at a playground on the way to a store. Another group of people, including Montgomery, appeared; one of them was holding a gun, and one of them told the victims to get down. Montgomery took Jones's jacket and Jayvon's jacket and shoes, and checked Antwan's pockets, which were empty. Tomlinson got up and began "tussling" with the robber who was holding a gun, which fell to the ground. Antwan fled and climbed over a nearby wall. As he fled, Antwan heard gunshots. While testifying, Antwan was not asked whether he recognized anyone in the courtroom as one of the robbers.

         Jayvon testified that, on November 15, 2011, he, Jones, Langley, Antwan, Tomlinson, and Dobbs stopped at a playground on the way home from a store. A minivan pulled up, and four people, including Givens, Montgomery, and Minor, got out of the minivan. Montgomery was holding a gun, and said "Y'all know what time it is" and "Y'all get on the ground." As the victims lay on the ground, the robbers began searching the victims. Givens took Jayvon's phone and money. Other robbers took Jayvon's jacket and shoes. The robbers took two other jackets from the other victims, and hit Tomlinson in the head with the gun twice. Tomlinson "barged" toward the robber with the gun, which fell to the ground. Tomlinson told the other victims to run, and "a scuffle for the gun" ensued. Jayvon fled and climbed over a nearby wall. As he climbed over the wall, Jayvon heard gunshots.

         As a witness for the State, Corey Young ("Young"), Givens's cousin, testified[9] that, on November 15, 2011, Young's car broke down, and he texted Givens to ask for help. Givens, Montgomery, and Minor arrived in Givens's gray minivan. The four people pushed Young's car to his grandmother's house. Afterward, the four people entered the minivan, which Givens drove around. Givens later asked Young to drive to pick up "Mouse, "[10] and Young complied. Young then drove the minivan to Minor's house, and the five people got out of the minivan. Minor entered his house, came back outside, and got into the minivan's driver's seat. The other four people entered the minivan, which Minor drove to a spot near a playground. Givens, Montgomery, and Mouse got out of the minivan. At some point, Minor said: "Man, they're taking too long." Minor got out of the minivan, and a fight broke out between Minor and a man who was holding a gun. Givens grabbed the gun and shot the man twice. Givens, Montgomery, Minor, and Mouse got back into the minivan, which Young drove away. While Young was driving, Givens, Montgomery, and Mouse told Minor: "The robbery was over with. Why did you have to take it out of [Givens]'s hand?"

         At trial, the prosecutor informed the circuit court that the parties had stipulated that, on November 15, 2011, members of the Prince George's County Police Department responded to 2122 County Road in District Heights, Maryland, where Tomlinson was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Tomlinson was transported to Prince George's County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

         Verdicts

         On March 14, 2013, the circuit court instructed the jury; the parties made closing arguments; and, at 11:15 a.m., the jury began deliberating. At 1:40 p.m.-i.e., within two-and-a-half hours-the jury indicated that it had reached verdicts; however, the transcript reveals that the jury received lunch before being called into the courtroom to announce the verdicts.[11] At 3:05 p.m., the jury entered the courtroom to render the verdict.

         In response to questions from the courtroom clerk, the jury's foreperson announced that the jury found Givens guilty of first-degree felony murder of Tomlinson, and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery of each of the six victims. The jury's foreperson announced that the jury found Givens not guilty of first-degree premeditated murder of Tomlinson; attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery, and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence against each of Tomlinson, Dobbs, and Antwan; and robbery with a dangerous weapon, robbery, and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence against each of Jones, Langley, and Jayvon.

         Immediately after the jury's foreperson stated the verdicts, the circuit court asked: "Any requests?" Givens's counsel's responded by asking that the jury be polled. The courtroom clerk repeated the verdicts exactly as the jury's foreperson had stated them. The courtroom clerk polled the jury by asking the jury's foreperson "Is this your verdict?" and asking each other juror "[I]s [the foreperson]'s verdict your verdict?" Each of the twelve jurors separately responded: "Yes." The courtroom clerk hearkened[12] the verdict, stating "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, h[e]arken to your verdict as the Court has recorded it." The courtroom clerk repeated the verdicts again, then asked: "So say you all?" The jurors responded "Yes." The circuit court thanked and discharged the jury, and the jury exited the courtroom at 3:25 p.m. Immediately afterward, the circuit court, the prosecutor, and Givens's counsel discussed matters that were related to the sentencing proceeding, and then the circuit court adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

         Motion to Strike

         On March 14, 2013, at 4:38 p.m., a little over an hour after the jury was discharged, Givens filed in the circuit court a "Motion to Strike Inconsistent Guilty Verdicts and/or Motion to Dismiss" ("the motion to strike"), contending that "[t]he felony murder guilty verdict is inconsistent with the robbery and attempted robbery not guilty verdicts" and that "[n]o felony other than robbery, and no attempt to commit any felony other than attempted robbery, could have formed the basis for a felony murder verdict[.]"[13] Givens requested that the circuit court strike the conviction for first-degree felony murder or dismiss that count of the indictment.

         On March 19, 2013-i.e., five days after the jury reached the verdicts-Givens filed in the circuit court a "Memorandum in Support of Motion to Strike Inconsistent Guilty Verdicts and/or Motion to Dismiss, "[14] in which Givens again requested that the circuit court either strike the conviction for first-degree felony murder of Tomlinson or dismiss the relevant count of the indictment on the ground that the conviction for first-degree felony murder of Tomlinson was legally inconsistent with the acquittals of robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, robbery, and attempted robbery. Givens expressly acknowledged that he had not moved to strike the allegedly inconsistent conviction until after the circuit court had discharged the jury.

         Givens argued that he had not waived the issue as to the allegedly inconsistent verdicts because, according to Givens, a defendant is not required to move to strike a guilty verdict that is allegedly inconsistent with a not-guilty verdict before the trial court discharges the jury. To support that proposition, Givens relied on Price, 405 Md at 34, 29, 15, 949 A.2d at 633-34, 630, 622, in which this Court ordered the reversal of a conviction that was inconsistent with acquittals, despite the circumstance that the defendant apparently moved to strike the conviction after the trial court discharged the jury Givens asserted that, in Price, the Majority of this Court took a position that was inconsistent with that of Judge Harrell, who, in a concurring opinion, stated: "[A] defendant must note [an] objection to the inconsistent verdict[s] while the trial court has an opportunity to remedy the error, ie, before the verdict[s are] final and the jury is discharged Failure to do so constitutes waiver" Price, 405 Md at 42, 949 A.2d at 639 (Harrell, J, concurring) (emphasis added).

         On March 21, 2013, the State filed a response to the motion to strike. In the response, the State contended that, by failing to object before the circuit court discharged the jury, Givens waived any issue as to the allegedly inconsistent verdicts. Alternatively, as to the merits, the State asserted that the verdicts were legally consistent because, as a co-conspirator, Givens was criminally liable for the first-degree felony murder that occurred during the attempted robbery of Tomlinson.

         On April 26, 2013, the circuit court conducted a sentencing proceeding, at which the circuit court heard argument on the motion to strike. After hearing arguments from the parties, the circuit court denied the motion to strike, stating:

Judge Har[rell]'s [concurring] opinion made absolute good sense, and even the [C]ourt of [S]pecial [A]ppeals said they ["]find significant solace in [his] well[-]reasoned and articulate["] opinion. [Tate v. State, 182 Md.App. 114, 129, 957 A.2d 640, 648 ("Tate II"), cert. denied, 406 Md. 747, 962 A.2d 373 (2008).] And that is what the [C]ourt of [S]pecial [A]ppeals tells me the law is, if it's not preserved or raised, in this instance, I must follow the law, and that's what the law is.

         On May 22, 2013, the circuit court issued an order denying the motion to strike.

         Court of Special Appeals

         On May 27, 2013, Givens filed a notice of appeal. In an unreported opinion dated September 22, 2015, the Court of Special Appeals affirmed the circuit court's judgments and held that, by failing to object before the jury hearkened to the verdicts, Givens waived any issue as to the allegedly inconsistent verdicts. The Court of Special Appeals stated that, "[a]lthough only two other members of the Court [of Appeals] joined [the] section of Judge Harrell's concurring opinion[ in Price that involved waiver], this Court has treated that opinion as though it is authoritative on the issue of preservation and waiver" in Tate II, 182 Md.App. 114, 957 A.2d 640, Hicks v. State, 189 Md.App. 112, 984 A.2d 246 (2009), and Travis v. State, 218 Md.App. 410, 98 A.3d 281 (2014). The Court of Special Appeals explained:

In Tate [II], 182 Md.App. at 138, [957 A.2d at 653, ] this Court rejected a challenge to inconsistent verdicts in part because the defendant "was obviously content to stand pat." Similarly, in Hicks, 189 Md.App. at 129, [984 A.2d at 256, ] this Court declined to consider a challenge to inconsistent verdicts because the defendant did not object at trial. More recently, in Travis [], 218 Md.App. 410[, 98 A.3d 281], this Court undertook an extensive review of the developments since Price, including the adoption of the concurrence's precepts concerning preservation and waiver.
Despite this Court's decisions in Tate, Hicks, and Travis, Givens argues that he has preserved his objection because, he says, he did what Price did. To the contrary, it is not entirely clear what Price did or did not do, because neither the majority opinion nor the concurrence discussed that subject. The omission is unsurprising, as the State's briefs in Price appear to have made no mention of preservation or waiver. The Price majority, therefore, did not consider, much less hold, that defendants could challenge inconsistent verdicts on appeal even if they failed to challenge the inconsistency before the trial court discharged the jury.

         Petition for Writ of Certiorari

         On November 6, 2015, Givens filed in this Court a petition for a writ of certiorari, raising the following two issues: (1) "Did the [circuit] court err in refusing to strike the verdict for felony murder?"; and (2) "Is a motion to strike an inconsistent verdict waived if not made before the discharge of the jury?" On January 27, 2016, this Court granted the petition. See Givens v. State, 446 Md. 218, 130 A.3d 507 (2016).

         DISCUSSION

         The Parties' Contentions

         Givens contends that a defendant does not waive an issue as to allegedly inconsistent verdicts by failing to object before the trial court discharges the jury. Givens asserts that, in Price, 405 Md. at 34, 29, 15, 949 A.2d at 633-34, 630, 622, this Court ordered the reversal of a conviction that was inconsistent with acquittals, even though the defendant moved to strike the conviction after the trial court discharged the jury. Givens maintains that, in Price, the Majority of this Court took a position that was inconsistent with that of Judge Harrell's concurring opinion, which stated that an objection to allegedly inconsistent verdicts must occur before the verdicts are final and the trial court discharges the jury. Givens contends that, in Tate II, 182 Md.App. 114, 957 A.2d 640, and similar cases, although the Court of Special Appeals stated that it adopted Judge Harrell's concurring opinion in Price, such statements were dicta because, in each case, no issue as to waiver of any issue as to allegedly legally inconsistent verdicts was before the Court of Special Appeals at the time.

         The State responds that, in Price, the Majority of this Court did not address how a defendant in a criminal trial by jury preserves for review an issue as to allegedly inconsistent verdicts because no issue as to waiver was before this Court in Price. The State argues that Givens wrongly asserts that, in Price, this Court rejected the procedure for preservation of legally inconsistent verdicts set forth in Judge Harrell's concurring opinion when, in fact, the Court simply did not address the issue. The State asserts that, in Tate II and other opinions, the Court of Special Appeals has adopted Judge Harrell's concurring opinion in Price, and urges that this Court formally do so as well.

         Standard of Review

         An appellate court reviews without deference a trial court's ruling on a motion to strike a guilty verdict that is allegedly inconsistent with a not-guilty verdict. See McNeal, 426 Md. at 461-62, 44 A.3d at 985-86 (In a case in which the issue was whether a trial court erred in overruling an objection to a guilty verdict that was allegedly inconsistent with a not-guilty verdict, this Court stated: "This case presents us with a question of law and, as such, we review the trial court's decision under a non-deferential appellate standard." (Citation omitted)).

         Cases Before Price

         We begin by examining the history of Maryland case law regarding inconsistent verdicts. Ninety-five years ago, decades before this Court's decision in Price, this Court held that two guilty verdicts cannot be inconsistent with each other in a criminal case, regardless of whether a bench trial or a jury trial occurred. See, e.g., Novak v. State, 139 Md. 538, 541, 115 A. 853, 854 (1921) (In a criminal case in which a bench trial occurred, this Court stated: "It has been argued in this [C]ourt that the [general] verdict is invalid because it does not discriminate between the count of the indictment charging robbery and that accusing the defendant of receiving stolen goods. A general verdict on these counts is said to be inconsistent in law, and hence not a proper basis for the judgment."); Heinze v. State, 184 Md. 613, 615, 617, 42 A.2d 128, 129, 130 (1945) (In a criminal case in which a jury trial occurred, this Court stated: "[A] finding of guilty on two inconsistent counts is invalid."); see also Price, 405 Md. at 34 n.1, 949 A.2d at 634 n.1 (Harrell, J., concurring) ("[T]wo inconsistent convictions cannot stand." (Citing Heinze, 184 Md. 613, 42 A.2d 128)).

         Similarly, for decades, this Court has held that a guilty verdict cannot be inconsistent with a not-guilty verdict in a criminal case in which a bench trial occurred. See, e.g., Shell v. State, 307 Md. 46, 57-58, 512 A.2d 358, 363-64 (1986) (In a criminal case in which a bench trial occurred, this Court ordered the reversal of a conviction that was inconsistent with an acquittal and concluded: "[I]t would be the height of appellate inconsistency for us to . . . hold that inconsistent verdicts in nonjury trials will generally be permitted and will be sustained in the present case."); State v. Williams, 397 Md. 172, 189-90, 916 A.2d 294, 305 (2007) ("[I]nconsistent verdicts of guilty and not guilty, by a trial [court] at a nonjury trial, are not ordinarily permitted." (Citations and internal quotation marks omitted)).

         That said, it has not always been the case that a guilty verdict could not be inconsistent with a not-guilty verdict in a criminal case in which a jury trial occurred. In Leet v. State, 203 Md. 285, 293-94, 100 A.2d 789, 793-94 (1953)-a criminal case in which a jury trial occurred-this Court held that a conviction could be inconsistent with an acquittal. This Court reasoned: "While it is true that a finding of guilt on two inconsistent counts will be declared invalid in Maryland, Heinze [], 184 Md. [at] 617, 42 A.2d [at] 130, it does not follow that a conviction on one count may not stand because of an inconsistent acquittal on another count." Leet, 203 Md. at 293, 100 A.2d at 793 (emphasis in original).

         This Court stated:

Consistency in the verdict[s] is not necessary. Each count in an indictment is regarded as if it w[ere] a separate indictment. . . . The most that can be said in [] cases [in which a conviction is inconsistent with an acquittal] is that the verdict[s] show[] that[, ] either in the acquittal or the conviction[, ] the jury did not speak their real conclusions, but that does not show that they were not convinced of the defendant's guilt. We interpret the acquittal as no more than their assumption of a power [that] they had no right to exercise, but to which they were disposed through lenity. That the verdict[s] may have been the result of compromise, or of a mistake on the part of the jury, is possible. But verdicts cannot be upset by speculation or inquiry into such matters.

Id. at 294, 100 A.2d at 793-94 (quoting Dunn v. United States, 284 U.S. 390, 393-94 (1932)) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).

         For decades after Leet, this Court repeated the principle that a guilty verdict could be inconsistent with a not-guilty verdict in a criminal case in which a jury trial occurred. See, e.g., Johnson v. State, 238 Md. 528, 541, 209 A.2d 765, 771 (1965) ("When there has been a conviction by a jury on one count and an inconsistent acquittal on another count, . . . the conviction may stand." (Citations omitted)); Williams, 397 Md. at 189, 916 A.2d at 304 ("[I]n criminal cases, inconsistent verdicts by a jury are normally tolerated[.]" (Citations and internal quotation marks omitted)).

         Leet and its progeny did not remain good law, however. This Court took a significant step toward overruling Leet and its progeny in Galloway v. State, 371 Md. 379, 416, 382-83, 809 A.2d 653, 675, 655-56 (2002), in which this Court held that a trial court erred in convicting a defendant of illegal possession of a firearm in a criminal case in which a jury acquitted the defendant of wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun. The trial court had engaged in "the unusual procedure" of conducting a single trial at which a jury would reach verdicts as to certain charges, and the trial court would reach verdicts as to other charges. Id. at 383 & n.2, 809 A.2d at 656 & n.2.[15] In Galloway, 371 Md. at 400, 809 A.2d at 666, this Court explained: "A reading of [] prior civil cases indicates that they support the proposition that a court verdict, based upon a trial [court]'s different interpretation of the same facts, should not be allowed to nullify a jury's interpretation of those facts and its resulting verdict[.]" This Court concluded:

[T]o accept what occurred here would be to create different, harsher, standards in criminal cases than in civil cases. We are unwilling to afford less protection to the jury trial rights of a criminal defendant, whose very liberty, or even his or her life, is at stake, than to a civil litigant, where, generally, it is money that is at stake.

Id. at 417, 809 A.2d at 676.

         This Court took another definitive step toward overruling Leet and its progeny in S. Mgmt. Corp. v. Taha, 378 Md. 461, 495, 836 A.2d 627, 647 (2003), in which this Court held that a trial court erred in failing to set aside "irreconcilably inconsistent jury verdicts" in a civil case. The verdicts were irreconcilably inconsistent because the jury found that a defendant employer was liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior, yet found that the defendant employees were not liable for the "conduct [that] was alleged to be the sole basis of the claim for liability." Id. at 486, 836 A.2d at 641. Although the defendant employer did not object to the inconsistent verdicts before the trial court dismissed the jury, id. at 490, 836 A.2d at 643, this Court concluded: "Based on the circumstances in this case, it is procedurally fair to address the merits of [the defendant employer]'s contentions[, ]" id. at 492, 836 A.2d at 645 (internal quotation marks omitted).

         In Taha, this Court observed that, "[i]n criminal matters, inconsistent jury verdicts may be permitted to stand." Id. at 486, 836 A.2d at 641-42 (citing Dunn, 284 U.S. at 393-94). This Court went on to explain: "Nevertheless, there remains a distinction between inconsistent verdicts in criminal cases and irreconcilably inconsistent jury verdicts in civil matters." Id. at 488, 836 A.2d at 642 (emphasis and footnote omitted). In a footnote in the preceding sentence, this Court stated: "We leave for another day the issue of whether this Court should reconsider its decision in criminal matters in which inconsistent verdicts have been rendered." Id. at 488 n.8, 836 A.2d at 642 n.8.

         Majority Opinion in Price

         In this Court's words, "the '[ ]other day' for this Court to reconsider the matter of inconsistent jury verdicts in criminal trials" arrived at the time of Price, 405 Md. at 23, 949 A.2d at 627 (quoting Taha, 378 Md. at 488 n.8, 836 A.2d at 642 n.8) (alteration in original). In Price, 405 Md. at 29, 949 A.2d at 630, this Court held that "inconsistent verdicts shall no longer be allowed." In holding as much in Price, this Court effectively overruled Leet, 203 Md. at 293-94, 100 A.2d at 793-94, and its progeny. See Tate II, 182 Md.App. at 117, 957 A.2d at 641 ("In Price [], the Court of Appeals expressly changed the common law of Maryland, which had in numerous cases over the course of [fifty-five] years held that, in jury trials in criminal cases, an apparent logical inconsistency between an acquittal on one charge and a conviction on another will not be interfered with by the courts and will not mandate the reversal of the conviction." (Citing, among other cases, Leet, 203 Md. at 293, 100 A.2d at 793).

         In Price, 405 Md. at 15, 949 A.2d at 622, a jury acquitted a defendant of being a felon in possession of a firearm, wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun, and all of the drug trafficking crimes with which the defendant had been charged; yet, the jury convicted the defendant of possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime under sufficient circumstances to constitute a nexus to the drug trafficking crime. Intuitively enough, this Court concluded that the conviction was inconsistent with the acquittals. See id. at 27, 949 A.2d at 629.

         In Price, 405 Md. at 18-23, 949 A.2d at 624-27, we discussed the history of Maryland case law regarding inconsistent verdicts. Afterward, this Court concluded:

The numerous exceptions to the principle tolerating inconsistent verdicts, and, more importantly, the recent opinions in [] Taha, [] 378 Md. 461, 836 A.2d 627, and Galloway [], [] 371 Md. 379, 809 A.2d 653, are circumstances [that] fully warrant a prospective change in the common law [that is] applicable to inconsistent verdicts. There is no longer any justification for the one remaining situation where inconsistent verdicts are tolerated, namely[, ] certain types of inconsistent verdicts by a jury in a criminal trial. Continued acceptance of inconsistent verdicts, in that one situation, is simply not reasonable.

Price, 405 Md. at 23-24, 949 A.2d at 627.

         This Court stated its holding as follows: "[W]ith regard to the instant case, similarly situated cases on direct appeal where the issue was preserved, and verdicts in criminal jury trials rendered after the date of our opinion in this case, inconsistent verdicts shall no longer be allowed." Id. at 29, 949 A.2d at 630 (emphasis added). This is the only instance in Price in which this Court referenced preservation. Thus, it is plainly evident that, in Price, this Court did not address the issue of waiver.

         This was to be expected, given that, as far as the opinion in Price reveals, no question was presented in a petition for a writ of certiorari in Price concerning preservation or waiver. In Price, id. at 18, 949 A.2d at 624, the defendant filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, raising an issue as to the inconsistent verdicts, and the State "simultaneously filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with respect to the interpretation and application of [a statute]'s sentence enhancement provisions." (Italics added). In other words, the defendant did not raise an issue as to preservation; nor did the State do so in a cross-petition for a writ of certiorari.

         Given that no issue as to preservation was before this Court, the holding in Price does not expressly identify when the defendant raised the issue as to the inconsistent verdicts during the proceedings in the trial court, or address whether the defendant waived the issue. In Price, immediately after detailing the nature of the verdicts, this Court stated:

[The defendant]'s [counsel] moved to strike the guilty verdict on the count charging possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime . . . on the ground that it was inconsistent with the acquittals. More specifically, [the defendant's] counsel argued that commission of a drug trafficking crime is an "essential element" of the firearms offense . . . and that the jury had determined that [the defendant] did not commit a drug trafficking crime. The prosecut[or] agreed that the guilty verdict on the . . . firearms count was inconsistent with the acquittals on the drug trafficking counts, but he argued ...

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