The Maryland Court of Appeals has granted a writ of certiorari in Roger Garcia v. State of Maryland. Mr. Garcia is represented by Catholic Law Lecturer and Director of the National Mock Trial Team, John N. Sharifi.
Mr. Garcia was tried in 2019 and acquitted of two counts of first degree murder and conspiracy, among other charges, but convicted of second degree murder and related firearm offenses. Maryland’s intermediate appellate court affirmed the convictions in Garcia v. State, 253 Md. App. 50 (2021). Mr. Sharifi petitioned the Court of Appeals, Maryland’s highest court, to hear the case. That petition was granted on February 9.
Mr. Sharifi’s appellate argument in Garcia questions the legality of one of the theories of second degree murder that went to the jury. This will be the second time Mr. Sharifi has challenged the viability of a theory of homicide in Maryland law. In State v. Jones, he successfully argued in the Court of Appeals that first degree assault cannot serve as a predicate to felony murder.
The Garcia case is scheduled to be heard in May.