ROLAND E. SIMMS
STATE OF MARYLAND
Circuit Court for Prince George's County Case No.
Wright, Kehoe, Raker, Irma S., (Senior Judge, Specially
Roland E. Simms, was indicted in the Circuit Court for Prince
George's County and charged with attempted first-degree
murder, attempted second-degree murder and related counts.
Following a jury trial, he was acquitted of the two attempted
murder counts and convicted of: first and second-degree
assault; reckless endangerment; use of a firearm in the
commission of a crime of violence; illegal possession of a
firearm; wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun; and
violation of a protective order. Appellant was sentenced to
an aggregate sentence of 50 years with all but 30 years
suspended in favor of five years' supervised probation,
plus credit for time served, as follows: 25 years, with all
but 20 suspended, for first degree assault; 20 years
consecutive, with all but five suspended, for use of a
firearm; five years consecutive for illegal possession of a
regulated firearm; three years concurrent for wearing,
carrying, or transporting a handgun; and 90 days concurrent
for violating a protective order. Appellant timely appealed
and presents the following questions for our review:
1. Did the trial court err when it failed to consider taking
a partial verdict on the ground that in order to take a
partial verdict, both sides must agree?
2. Did the court err in imposing separate sentences for first
degree assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a crime
of violence, illegal possession of a firearm, wearing,
carrying, or transporting a handgun, and violation of a
following reasons, we shall vacate appellant's sentences
for wearing, carrying, or transporting a firearm and
violating a protective order and, otherwise, shall affirm.
we have reviewed the record as a whole, "[i]t is
unnecessary to recite the underlying facts in any but a
summary fashion because for the most part they [otherwise] do
not bear on the issues we are asked to consider."
Teixeira v. State, 213 Md.App. 664, 666 (2013)
(citations and quotations omitted); accord Kennedy v.
State, 436 Md. 686, 688 (2014). Appellant was charged
with shooting Christina Warrick, the mother of his three
children, at a bus stop located in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on
the morning of January 24, 2017. Warrick survived and
testified against appellant at trial. She informed the jury
that she was standing at a bus stop with three of her
daughters when appellant approached her with "the look
of death on his face," stated "bitch, you tell him
everything," and then punched her in the face.
told her daughters to run and tried to fight back, but
appellant pushed her to the ground and pulled out a handgun.
He then fired one shot at Warrick's face, however,
Warrick turned her head and the shot only grazed her nose.
Warrick managed to get up off the ground momentarily, but
appellant pushed her back down to the ground and fired
another shot and that second shot struck Warrick in the
also testified that she previously had obtained a final
protective order against appellant on August 8, 2016. The
protective order was good for one year and required that
appellant have no contact with Warrick or her children.
Warrick's account of the shooting was corroborated by her
daughters, A.S., S.W., and A.W., as well as Koffi Soedje, who
were all present at the bus stop and witnessed the shooting.
shall include additional detail in the following discussion.
contends that the circuit court erred by not considering
taking a partial verdict because it thought both sides had to
agree in order to do so. The State responds that appellant
waived this issue by acquiescing to the court's decision
and foregoing any suggestion of a partial verdict in lieu of
a requested modified Allen charge. The State also
argues the court properly exercised its discretion on the
merits of the original request for a partial verdict.
deliberations began, the jury sent out several notes seeking
clarification about the elements of the charged
offenses. The jury then sent out a note, which read:
are not able to reach a unanimous decision on one charge
yet." This note was addressed in court as follows:
THE COURT: So what do you want me to say? You must keep
deliberating, correct? What other answer is there? I'm
not taking a partial verdict. I'm not letting them go
home when they only went out at - what was that? 1:30?
THE DEPUTY CLERK: 1:30, 1:45.
THE COURT: It hasn't even been - unless you think
there's another option.
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: We could talk about taking a partial
[PROSECUTOR]: I'd prefer further deliberations. Perhaps
the Allen charge, and then after - you know.
THE COURT: Not an Allen charge now.
[PROSECUTOR]: I'm fine with continue deliberating.
THE COURT: Please continue deliberating.
[PROSECUTOR]: Because the Allen charge, I mean, we
all agree that it doesn't say much.
THE COURT: So do you object to me telling them please
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Might as well. I think it says only one is
[PROSECUTOR]: That's the same reading that I have.
(Whereupon, the Court and counsel signed the Court's
response to the jury's note.)
THE COURT: Your signature is fine. What else?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: I don't want it to be imputed that
I'm agreeing. That's all.
THE COURT: It does mean you're agreeing. You object to
that? Because I wouldn't have written it down if you were
objecting to my saying, "Please ...