HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A judge has granted a man convicted of armed robbery a new trial because the jury that found him guilty in October also found a wad of cash in his coat that police and prosecutors overlooked.
A money roll totaling $1,300, a rubber glove and a bandage apparently went unnoticed by police, prosecutors and the defense until jurors found them while examining the garment during deliberations in October.
Circuit Judge Theresa M. Adams granted the defense motion Wednesday for a new trial at what was to have been Moses M. Streete's sentencing hearing. She ordered Streete held without bail.
"You would think with all the law enforcement people that had been involved with the case that everything would have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb - and then that fine-toothed comb would have had another fine-toothed comb going over it," said Christine Bowersox, one of the jurors.
Frederick County State's Attorney J. Charles Smith said yesterday that Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Kemp had checked the coat pockets before the trial and found no money.
Defense attorney Scott L. Rolle said he had seen the coat before the trial but hadn't gone through the pockets.
Gregory Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, which had custody of the coat, declined to comment.
Although the overlooked evidence resulted in a new trial for Streete, the cash and glove, had they been offered as evidence, would have helped prosecutors more than Streete because his defense relied partly on the absence of any cash or fingerprints.
Rolle said he planned to fight the admissibility of the new evidence. *