State v. CrawleyAnnotate this Case
Greco v. State, 427 Md. 477 (2012) announced the rule that a term-of-years sentence for first degree murder is an illegal sentence that must be corrected by adding a period of probation. At issue before the Court of Appeals was whether a sentence for first degree felony murder containing such an illegality must be corrected when the illegal sentence was imposed pursuant to a plea agreement.
In this case, pursuant to a plea agreement, Respondent pleaded guilty to first degree felony murder and armed robbery. For his murder conviction, Respondent was sentenced to life in prison, all but thirty-five years suspended, with no mention of probation. Respondent later brought this action challenging the legality of his sentence. The circuit court vacated Respondent’s sentence, resentenced him to life imprisonment, all but thirty-five years suspended, with four years of supervised probation. The court of special appeals reversed, concluding that the sentence as modified was illegal because it added four years or probation not included as a term of the plea agreement. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the circuit court’s imposition of a period of probation removed the illegality in the sentence and did not constitute an abuse of discretion.