State v. Sowell
Maryland Court of Appeals
728 A.2d 712 (1999)
Brian Sowell (defendant) worked for Recycling Incorporated. One morning when employees were to be paid, Sowell telephoned the company’s office manager to inquire when the payroll would be ready and how employees would be paid. The manager responded that the pay would be ready around noon and that employees would be paid in cash. Around 12:30 p.m., Sowell picked up his pay in cash. About an hour later, three men wearing dark clothing and carrying guns entered the company’s office and threatened the office manager and a vice president to hand over the cash. The office manager complied and placed about $14,600 in a bag provided by one of the men. The men quickly left the office. Sowell and others were charged with armed robbery, robbery, two counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, and first-degree assault. At trial, co-defendant Anthony Williams testified that Sowell was the “mastermind” behind the robbery and had it all planned out. Williams further testified that Sowell had a map of the recycling center detailing where employees were located, who should be grabbed, and who might have a gun. During the robbery, Sowell was on his route for the company. Williams, Sowell, and the others met later to split up the money. Sowell was convicted on all counts and appealed. The court of special appeals reversed the convictions, holding that the evidence presented to the jury was not sufficient to show that Sowell was present at the scene of the crime, either constructively or actually.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cathell, J.)
Concurrence (Raker, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 725,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.