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Freeman v. State

Maryland Court of Special Appeals
857 A.2d 557 (2004)


Facts

On March 30, 2000, Adele Florence Freeman (defendant) shot Kevin Gross to death. Immediately thereafter, Freeman drove to a Maryland State Police station and informed Sergeant Albert Paton that she had shot someone and that the gun was in her purse. Paton had previously heard over the radio that a female had shot a male on Wilson Road. Paton took Freeman’s purse and placed her in a room. Paton then handcuffed the hand Freeman used to shoot Gross to a bench, in order to later perform a gunshot residue test. Paton then advised Freeman, word for word from a card, of her Miranda rights. Freeman indicated that she understood her rights. However, when Paton asked Freeman if she would “knowingly waive these rights,” she did not say anything. Paton then secured the gun from Freeman’s purse and asked her how many shots she fired. Freeman said she did not know. Paton asked Freeman what had happened and Freeman told him that she did not want to talk about it “right now.” Paton determined that no live ammunition was in the gun and left everything the way it was, closed it back up, and secured the gun. Paton did not ask Freeman any further questions. Corporal David Ruel was assigned to investigate the homicide. After giving Freeman some food, he read her Miranda rights, and she signed the form. Freeman did not request an attorney and appeared to be calm, intelligent, and articulate. Freeman then recounted the events leading up to the shooting of Gross. When she had finished, Ruel asked Freeman if she would provide a written or taped statement. Freeman declined to do so and requested a lawyer. Ruel then stopped all questioning of Freeman. Freeman was charged with first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree assault, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Freeman filed a motion to suppress her statements made to Paton. After a hearing, the trial court denied to suppress Freeman’s statements. Freeman was convicted and she appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hollander, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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