Counts v. StateAnnotate this Case
Petitioner was charged in a five-count indictment with burglary and related crimes. On the morning of trial, the prosecutor asked the court to amend Count Four from theft of less than $1,000 to theft of at least $1,000 but less than $10,000. The amendment of Count Four substituted felony theft for misdemeanor theft. The court allowed the amendment of the indictment. After a trial, the jury found Petitioner guilty of fourth degree burglary, theft of goods having a value of at least $1,000, and theft of good valued under $100. The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction, holding (1) the amendment of Count Four of the indictment changed the character of the offense charged, and therefore, the trial court violated Maryland Rule 4-204 in permitting the State, over Petitioner’s objection, to amend the charging document; and (2) that violation was prejudicial per se, entitling Petitioner to a remand for entry of a judgment of conviction and imposition of sentence on the originally charged misdemeanor of theft of property valued at less than $1,000.