On May 25, 1994, two men and a woman named Sandy met at the Silver Spring, Maryland apartment of Ephraim Hobson to transact a drug deal. When Hobson brought out the narcotics, both men drew guns, shots were fired and Hobson was killed.
During the subsequent investigation, Sandy, who had been a long time police informant, told a Montgomery County detective that she had been in the apartment. She knew one of the men as “fat man” and the other as “Eric.”
After looking at photographs, she identified Eric Lynn, 25, as the one she knew as “Eric.” She could not identify the other man.
Sandy asked for payment and detectives requested $1,250 from the Special Investigations Division. Five days after the request, the detectives took Sandy on a ride to Lynn’s neighborhood and paid her $200.
Lynn was arrested on June 27, 1995. Prior to trial, the detectives took Sandy to a meeting with the prosecutor and afterward paid her $100.
At a bench trial that began on November 28, 1994, Sandy, testifying under an alias, said she saw Lynn fatally shoot Hobson. Lynn was convicted on Dec. 6, 1994 and was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional five years. Afterward, Sandy was paid the remainder of the $1,250.
Lynn’s direct appeal was denied, but on June 19, 2003, he was granted a new trial based on a post-conviction petition. A Montgomery County Circuit judge found that Lynn’s trial attorney had been ineffective for failing to obtain evidence to impeach Sandy’s testimony that she had “never been paid for a homicide case” as well as a detective’s testimony that Sandy had not been paid for her involvement in the case. The impeachment evidence included the payments from investigators and that she used and sold narcotics.
In October 2007, Lynn was retried before a jury and on October 31, 2007 he was acquitted and released from prison.
– Maurice Possley