Bingaman loses appeal

February 18, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A state appellate court has denied an appeal by Floyd Edward Bingaman III, who is serving 30 years in prison for a conviction of shaking a baby to death.

Bingaman, a Hagerstown resident, was convicted in 2007 in Washington County Circuit Court of killing 4-month-old Justice Christopher Calvin Myers-Cannon, the son of his then-girlfriend.

In a decision filed Friday, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld Bingaman's conviction and sentence.

Bingaman, in his appeal, challenged the denial of his motion for a mistrial, whether the evidence was sufficient for a conviction, the effectiveness of his attorney, the admission of autopsy photos as evidence and whether it was legal to have consecutive sentences.

In its opinion, the Court of Special Appeals rejected all of the arguments.

Justice was shaken to death in January 2007.

Bingaman, who was the boyfriend of Justice's mother, Ashley Myers, was found guilty in November 2007 of involuntary manslaughter, first-degree child abuse and second-degree assault, but not guilty of first- and second-degree murder.


He was sentenced in January 2008 to 10 years in prison on the involuntary manslaughter charge and 30 years, with 10 suspended, on the first-degree child abuse charge. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

Justice's relatives are pushing for a change in state law to increase the maximum penalty for first-degree child abuse resulting in death from 30 years to life in prison.

A bill filed by Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, failed last year, but he has filed it again this year. A hearing is scheduled for March 12.

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