Court for Baltimore City Case No. 114169016
Wright, Graeff, Raker, Irma S. (Senior Judge, Specially
Steven Young appeals his convictions in the Circuit Court for
Baltimore City for possession of heroin with intent to
distribute, possession of oxycodone with intent to
distribute, possession of methadone with intent to
distribute, possession of alprazolam with intent to
distribute, possession of heroin, possession of oxycodone,
possession of methadone, and possession of alprazolam. He
raises the following two questions for our review, which we
have rephrased and re-ordered:
1. Did the circuit court err when it excluded appellant's
evidence of written prescriptions for controlled substances
when appellant was charged with the unlawful possession of
and possession with intent to distribute those controlled
2.Did the circuit court err by admitting appellant's
post-arrest statements without holding a suppression hearing
or ruling on appellant's motion to suppress based on an
allegedly unlawful arrest?
shall hold that the trial court erred by excluding as hearsay
evidence of written prescriptions. The motion to suppress was
not preserved for our review. Accordingly, we shall reverse
in part and affirm in part.
indictment filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City,
appellant was charged with crimes related to controlled
dangerous substances found in a police search of a house on
May 28, 2014. The jury convicted appellant of possession of
heroin with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone
with intent to distribute, possession of methadone with
intent to distribute, possession of alprazolam with intent to
distribute, possession of heroin, possession of oxycodone,
possession of methadone, and possession of alprazolam. The
circuit court sentenced appellant to four terms of
incarceration of thirteen years, one for each count of
possession with intent to distribute, to be served
following evidence was presented at trial: On May 28, 2014,
Detective Manuel Larbi executed a search warrant at 2580
Marbourne Avenue in Baltimore ("the residence").
Detective Larbi had surveilled the residence for a number of
weeks, and identified appellant in the warrant application as
a person observed at the residence. The application, however,
only sought to search the residence-the form space on the
warrant stating "on the person of" was left blank.
prior to executing the warrant, Detective Larbi conducted
covert surveillance of the area around the residence, where
he observed appellant and another man, Arnold Bowman, in the
street working on a car. Their specific location was
estimated to be anywhere from directly in front of the
residence to two blocks away. Detective Larbi's team pulled
up next to appellant and Mr. Bowman. The police officers got
out of their cars, handcuffed the two men, searched them, and
walked them to the residence. The officers then brought the
men into the residence to wait while the officers conducted
their search. Inside the residence, officers found and
detained appellant's wife Angela Grubber. The officers
advised all three persons of their rights pursuant to
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).
told the officers "that he lived in the
[residence]" and that he "did have some [drugs] in
his bedroom." In that bedroom, Detective Larbi found 32
pills of methadone, 7 pills of Xanax, and 3.5 grams of
heroin. Detective Larbi also discovered in a kitchen cabinet
downstairs 3 plastic bags each containing 100 oxycodone
pills, another plastic bag containing 42 oxycodone pills, and
$1, 498 cash. When confronted with the drugs, appellant told
Detective Larbi that he "sells some of it from time to
Statement of Probable Cause for appellant's arrest listed
appellant's address as 504 Manor Road, Glen Burnie, MD
20160. The Statement was signed by Detective Larbi.
30, 2015, appellant filed a Motion to Suppress Search and
Seizure and Request to Examine Affiant, entitled a
"Franks Motion." The Motion challenged
Detective Larbi's Application for Search and Seizure
Warrant for the residence based on the truthfulness and
timeliness of Detective Larbi's affidavit that he had
observed appellant at the residence selling drugs to a
confidential informant. He also challenged the later
Statement of Probable Cause (supporting Detective Larbi's
arrest of appellant) as containing factual errors, including
"16. According to a witness, Rachel Ann Bunner, and the
Defendant when the Police came to serve the Search Warrant,
the Defendant was a quarter block down the road and across
the street working on a vehicle, a Green Ford Explorer with
Arnold Bowman. Police spotted the Defendant, stopped and
searched both men, then handcuffed them and took them to 2580
17. The Defendant is not an occupant of that dwelling, he
does not live there, nor receive mail at 2580 Marbourne
Avenue. The Defendant does not have telephone service there,
his name is not on the BGE account or the Lease. In the
Statement of Probable Cause Detective Larbi, under oath, put
down Defendant's address as 504 Manor Road, Glen Burnie,
Maryland, but then alleged that the Defendant stated he lived
at 2580 Marbourne Avenue.
18. Lastly, Detective Larbi claimed that the Defendant and
Mr. Bowman failed to provide any prescriptions, that is
false. The Defendant attempted to provide them to police
during the incident and explained that he has valid
prescriptions for Methadone, Xanax (alprazolam), and Percocet
(a mixture of oxycodone and acetaminophen). The Defendant has
also shown that his wife had valid prescriptions for
Methadone, Xanax, and Percocet."
motion was followed by a Memorandum of Law in support of the
unlawful seizure claim on September 18, 2015, the State's
Response on October 27, 2015, and appellant's Reply on
November 12, 2015.
January 13, 2016, the State orally moved in limine
to suppress any evidence concerning the written prescriptions
claimed by appellant. The State argued that the prescriptions
constituted inadmissible hearsay and could not be
authenticated as business records. The judge granted the
motion before the State could finish and did not invite
appellant's counsel to respond before moving on to the
next motion. Appellant's counsel did not object to the
ruling. Following what appears to be a chambers conference,
the hearing proceeded as follows:
"[THE STATE]: And, Your Honor, the State's second
motion that we spoke in chambers is the exclusion.
State's moving a motion in limine to exclude any
prescription evidence as it is, number one, hearsay, and,
number two, not admissible hearsay because it does not fall
within the exception of 803(6).
Defense is trying to enter into evidence, number one, a
prescription-an alleged prescription of the defendant and,
number two, a prescription by his wife, Angela Grubber, who
is not going to testify today. These are copies of alleged
prescriptions. They are not certified. The doctor is not
There's no certification or authenticity and it's
excluded under 803(6). I do have a case, Bryant v.
State, by the Court of Special Appeals where in a murder
trial the defense tried to enter in a piece of paper that was
the alleged toxicology report because it was murder. And the
Court said it's hearsay, number one, even if the
defendant took the stand-
[THE COURT]: Yeah. I'm familiar with that law because I
had the very same issues several times. Okay. The motion is
That leaves us to-the speedy trial . . ."
end of the day, the court postponed any hearing on
appellant's motion to suppress until the next morning,
stating as follows:
"[THE STATE]: We still have - we still have the motion
issue to resolve.
[THE COURT]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[THE STATE]: Maybe that first thing in the morning? The
witness has been here all day. He's waiting outside of
the courtroom, but he's the same witness who would
testify tomorrow as well.
[THE COURT]: Who is it again?
[THE STATE]: It's Detective Larbi.
[THE COURT]: Why can't we take him real quick?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: No, because I'm going to be a long
time with him. I cannot be restricted when I do
cross-examination. I never know. I can tell you five minutes.
It could be a half hour. I never know. It depends on what
they bring out and what they don't bring out. I mean