Case involved defending a Motion to Dismiss and a Motion to Suppress by the defense based on the new Supreme Court opinion on the Second Amendment
Baltimore, Md. (July 11, 2022) – Last week, Michael Yates was found guilty by a Baltimore City jury after a previous jury was unable to arrive at a consensus earlier in the week. Yates was found guilty of the following charges:
- Possession of a Regulated Firearm After Prior Conviction
- Possession of Ammunition by a Prohibited Person
Yates faces a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison at sentencing on August 3, 2022. Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Pillion prosecuted this case, which initially involved defending a Motion to Dismiss and a Motion to Suppress by the defense based on the new Supreme Court opinion on the Second Amendment, New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n Inc. v. Bruen. The Supreme Court ruled on June 23rd that New York's law requiring a good reason before someone can carry a gun outside their home is unconstitutional and that the Constitution protects a right to carry a gun outside the home. Subsequently, Governor Hogan directed Maryland State Police to suspend Maryland's 'good and substantial reason' standard for wear and carry permits in line with this ruling. The Court’s opinion is also being used to challenge Maryland’s other firearms laws, such as the ban on convicted drug felons possessing handguns.
“I applaud ASA Pillion's dedication to this case for retrying it immediately after a hung jury outcome, which exemplifies his commitment and skill as a prosecutor. Once again we have ensured another gun is removed from our streets with certain consequences for the individual who decided to carry it,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
On October 21, 2020, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Baltimore City Police officers in the Southeast District Action Team received information that a male in a grey sweatshirt was in possession of a handgun in the 6400 block of O’Donnell Street. Foxtrot aerial surveillance assisted the officers by flying over and locating a group of people in the rear of the identified block. It was discovered that individuals were inside of a make-shift shack which had constructed in the middle of an open field on municipal property.
When officers entered the shack, they immediately saw Michael Yates sitting in a chair inside, along with several other people. On the ground, directly between Yate's feet and touching his foot, was a black handgun. Officers quickly detained Yates and recovered the gun, which was identified as a Sig-Sauer 9MM handgun loaded with seven rounds of live ammunition. The gun was later submitted to evidence control, where firearms experts retrieved and examined the weapon, and further determined it to be an operable handgun with a barrel length just under 4 inches.
Yates was arrested and transported to Central Booking where he placed a series of recorded jail calls. In the first call, Yates contacted an unknown male, who asked cryptically about the gun. Yates explained, “it wasn’t on me—it was right there on the ground,” adding, “I kept saying I was gonna stash it; I don’t know why I was thinking like that; I don’t never do that…it wasn’t on me—it wasn’t directly on me—it was right there on the ground.” Yates continued, “I really can’t believe this shit now, man…really, yo, this was not in the plan; oh my god! Oh my god!”
Yates is prohibited from possessing any handguns, regulated firearms, or ammunition because he was previously convicted of felony distribution of a controlled dangerous substance in June of 2015.