Simms v. StateAnnotate this Case
In 1996, Appellant was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and related offenses. In 2008, Appellant filed a petition for post-conviction DNA testing pursuant to Md. Code Ann. Crim. Proc. (CP) 8-201, alleging that socks he had allegedly worn at the time of the murders that the State introduced into evidence at trial lacked his DNA. The State responded with documentation that the socks were destroyed along with other items seized in the case after Appellant’s conviction had been affirmed on direct appeal. In 2011, the circuit court closed the case. In 2013, Appellant sought to reopen the proceedings pursuant to CP 8-201, alleging that the State had improperly destroyed the socks. The pro bono counsel that had assisted Appellant in the earlier proceedings under CP 8-201 moved to strike their appearance. The circuit court granted counsels’ motion, denied Appellant’s request for new court-appointed counsel, and denied Appellant’s request to conduct further proceedings under CP 8-201. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not abuse its discretion when it (1) granted the motion of Appellant’s pro bono counsel to strike their appearance; (2) declined to appoint new counsel for Appellant; and (3) declined to order relief under CP 8-201.