United States District Court, D. Maryland
ROBERT D. WOODS
RICHARD GRAHAM, JR. and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND
CATHERINE C. BLAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
D. Woods filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the constitutionality
of his convictions in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County.
ECF No. 1. In the petition, Mr. Woods raises one claim: the
prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence at trial.
Id. at 5-6.Respondents have filed an answer.
ECF No. 6.
review, the Court finds no need for an evidentiary hearing.
See Rule 8(a), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in
the United States District Courts; Local Rule 105.6; See
also Fisher v. Lee, 215 F.3d 438, 455 (4th Cir. 2000)
(Petitioner not necessarily entitled to evidentiary hearing
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2)). For reasons that follow,
the petition for writ of habeas corpus will bedenied and
dismissed with prejudice.
and Procedural History
Woods was charged with the May 12, 2008, burglary of Box and
Save, a grocery store in Dundalk, Maryland. Ans. Ex. 6, Ct.
of Special Appeals Op. at 10, ECF No. 6-6. On September 10,
2009, a jury trial sitting in the Circuit Court of Baltimore
County convicted Mr. Woods of second degree burglary and
malicious destruction of property. Pet. at 2, ECF TsTo. 1;
Ans. Ex. 3, Sept. 10, 2009 Trial Trans, at 54, ECF No. 6-3.
The Court sentenced Woods to thirteen years of imprisonment.
Pet. at 1; Ans. Ex. 3 at 63.
facts adduced at trial were summarized by the Court of
Special Appeals of Maryland on direct appeal:
The State introduced surveillance videotapes taken from the
48 motion cameras, running "24/7, " positioned
inside the store. The introduced tapes ran from 11:25 p.m. on
May 12, 2008, to 4:20 a.m. on May 13, 2008, and showed two
men breaking into the store and unsuccessfully attempting to
open the safe. Still photographs from the videotapes were
also introduced into evidence. A night manager of the store
testified to the approximately $30, 000 worth of damage the
burglars did to the store, mostly to the security and alarm
systems and the safe.
Detectives Thomas Lamb and Gary Lappa, both of the Baltimore
County Police Department, testified that, after the burglary,
John Pratt and [Mr. Woods] were identified as suspects.
Detective Lamb executed a search warrant for Pratt's
house; Detective Lappa executed a search warrant for [Mr.
Wood]'s house. During a search of Pratt's house, the
police recovered from Pratt's bedroom several walkie
talkie devices, headphones, and a police scanner. During a
search of appellant's house, the police recovered from
appellant's bedroom headphones and police scanners set to
the Baltimore County Police Channel.
Ans. Ex. 6 at 10-11.
Woods and John Pratt were arrested during the execution of
the search warrants. When questioned by Detective Lamb, Mr.
Pratt initially denied committing the burglary or knowing Mr.
Woods. Ans. Ex. 2, Sept. 9, 2009 Trial Trans, at 131-32, ECF
No. 6-2. Mr. Pratt told Detective Lamb that the burglary was
"bigger than me and if I tell you anything else, they
will kill me and my family." Id.
Court of Special Appeals' summary of the facts continues
in relevant part:
Pratt, who had pled guilty to burglary of the store,
testified against appellant. He identified himself and
appellant as the burglars from the two still photographs
directly derived from the videotape from the store. Pratt
testified as to his and appellant's actions inside the
store. He acknowledged that he had several prior convictions
for burglary and theft. On cross examination, Pratt testified
that he did not remember being asked by the police about
appellant, telling the police that the burglary was
"bigger than" the police knew, or telling the
police that he was afraid for his family.
[Mr. Woods's] girlfriend testified that during the last
couple of years, Pratt visited her and [Mr. Woods] at 1060
Bethune Street where she and [Mr. Woods] lived for nine
years. A Baltimore City Police Department videotape was
introduced into evidence and showed [Mr. Woods] with a bag