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Posted at 9:14 PM ET, 05/ 7/2010

Man acquitted in girlfriend's murder

By Terri Rupar

A Prince George’s County jury Friday evening acquitted a man of murdering his girlfriend, whose final moments were captured in an audio recording.

Following a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for about 3 1/2 hours before acquitting Aaron Spriggs, 33, of first- and second-degree murder and a gun violation.

Spriggs was accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend, Maris Wilkerson, 45, at their Upper Marlboro home about midnight June 26.

State witnesses testified that on the night of June 25, Wilkerson angrily told Spriggs to leave her home when she saw him with another woman. Four state witnesses who lived near Wilkerson’s home testified they heard gunshots around midnight.

Wilkerson’s cellphone dialed a San Diego auto parts store, perhaps inadvertently, prosecutors said. The store recorded Wilkerson’s voice gasping “I don’t wanna die Aaron.” In his closing argument, defense attorney J. Wyndal Gordon said Wilkerson did not say “Aaron.” Gordon said it sounded like she said “Aaron” because she spoke with an accent from her native Hawaii.

--Martin Weil

By Terri Rupar  | May 7, 2010; 9:14 PM ET
 
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Comments

African-American murder victim. African-American defendant. Mostly African-American jury.

Were they told of his criminal history? Were they told of his history of domestic violence? Probably not.

Read it here: http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us

Why is it so often so hard for PG juries to send black male murderers to prison? Can't (or won't) trust the police? Or prosecutors? What is the answer?

Whatever it *was*, another PG murder has now gone forever unpunished, since future prosecutions of this man are prohibited by the Constitution. Par for the dysfunctional course in PG....

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | May 7, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

^^^^$1Mil says your white and don't really give a Flying Freak.....

....Standard is proof without a reasonable doubt...there is reasonable doubt....How about you learn the laws 1st idiot..All the evidence was circumstantial.......

That being said, yes he prob did it....but the the police just has to work a little harder....Because all the above facts were not from the police...Neighbors and someone who received a phone call message is all they have.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | May 8, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Based on that criminal record, he will be back. A la OJ. A person without impulse control. He will get what is coming to him, in the end!

Posted by: eardery | May 8, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

Typical. PGC or DC juries acquitting violent murders. Maybe they feel like they're sticking it to the "man." The jokes on their community because it's their people killing their own people. Sad.

Posted by: jabreal00 | May 8, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Why would anyone voluntarily live in PG County if they could afford to live somewhere else?

Posted by: kenk3 | May 8, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

The 'Unpaid Bigot Brigade' is ever vigilant on this site...you all should pool your vast resources and leave the planet...but you'd probably find some alien to blame for all your woes on Mars.

And you'd be the 'illegal aliens' then...LOL

Posted by: kahlua87 | May 8, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

PG county...say no more...typical

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | May 8, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I hope each of those jurors is haunted by the anguished scream of the victim's sister for a very long time - shame on them

Posted by: overit301 | May 8, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Unfreakingbelievable.

When are women in this country going to get 14th Amendment protection? If any other group of people were being murdered at the rate of 3/DAY, the screaming for justice would never end. If terrorists were killing three men a day in America, then the whole country would be on lockdown. If it's a woman, it's just business as usual and huge amounts of evidence are to no avail.

That jury should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by: elizestrada | May 8, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

You knew it had to be PG County when you read the headline, MD. MURDER TRIAL
Girlfriend's death caught on tape, but boyfriend acquitted.

If nothing else, the idiocy of PG County juries and residents provides endless laughs for the metro area and nation.

Posted by: checkered1 | May 8, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

PG isn't notorious for allowing Blacks to gofree.The prison population in America for Blacks is highest anywhere 5.8mil. this is obscene.so for anyone to state somehow that Blacks aren't being held accountable for the least little thing is assisnine.infact, America spends more money on jailing Blacks than on social/economic issues that would ensure Blacks have access to viable education/training/college in order to not become foder for stock-market criminal system to enrich others. I have dealt with the loss of a son in PG. The system from beginning to end was rigged/corrupt. I don't agree with what appears to have happened in this case, obvious miscarriage of justice but i was't there. however, in my sons case, Black judge/Black jury/Black lawyer an open and shut case and yet all our family walked away with was money for funeral expenses and an insulting pittence for mothers anguish, 5,000. the culprits record was read before the judge before case began, he had tryed to murder five other young men.this meant nothing to the judge as the initial amount of judgement was not allowed. this is what people don't understand. they think that if they read a suit for a mil. or more that that is what is going to be allowed. not so. most cases such as mine are either dismissed this is why you don't hear follow-up or they are for such low amounts of 1 dollar or maybe just funeral expenses/medical and thats it. our family have been trying to get the legislators in Marland, county exe. Jack Johnson/state's Att. Glenn Ivey/ county counsel&others to do right by us and they have not. so Maryland is one of the most dangerous places to live and if you or a loved one is gunned-down by law enforcement or strangled in jail cell by jailers etc. forget about justice, Maryland is going to see to it that you don't get any. they break the constitution/bill of rights and any other law in Maryland especially if you are Black. They do what in the heck they want to and nobody ever challenges them on it. I stay out of Maryland because Maryland still has the statue of Judge Taney facing court. J. Taney made the decision in the Dred Scott case, "Blacks have no rights that any white has to respect or something to that effect. they practice this and so, in this case I'm surprised by the verdict but trust me, they made over the dogs getting shot and killed by police in berwyn Md. and changed how police swat handles bus./muse and another black legislator wrote a specific law and it passed proto to protect animals rights, but if you are Black, you can have all your rights trampled on and not one legislator will give a hoot. don't be fooled by anyone who says Blacks get away with crime as a rule because statistics will not bare this out.

Posted by: honkytonky1 | May 8, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

just for the record, the culprit who murdered my son was a then, police officer. my son was treated as if he'd commited a crime. our family was under attack insted of officials doing their job to ensure justice would be served we were intimidated and talked to like trash. we are still grieving and as tomorrow approach, mother's day i will stand over my son's grave and promise him that one day despite all those who have worked against him/us justice will have final say eventually. one thing about death, it is an equalizer and we all will meet the call and answer for misdeeds. this is what help keep me his mother sane.

Posted by: honkytonky1 | May 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Circumstantial evidence and direct evidence are equal. The fact that a case relies mostly on circumstantial evidence is no reason to acquit if the evidence is reliable. People use circumstantial evidence every day to reach conclusions. For example, you awaken from a deep sleep. You look out of your window and see gray skies, wet ground, and beads of water on your window and the cars. If you were asked to decide beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not it rained, what would you conclude?

Posted by: learnedhand1 | May 8, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

JUSTICE HAMPERED:

The case was hijacked by an unethical defense attorney, who was permitted to lodge personal attacks against prosecutors and volley both inflaming and inappropriate arguments at jurors. Questions and arguments must be tied to evidence. Decorum and civility must be prevail over courtroom antics.

The bounds of proper cross-examination and closing arguments appeared to have been so severely breached in this case that they impaired the government's ability to effectively prosecute.

Posted by: habari2 | May 9, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Look at his past record this man has prior DV charges. Sonow he has gotten awaywith murder i guess he will be set ferr to do it again what is it going to take for this wild beast to be tamed??? he truely have some mental issuses please pray for him he is sick i'm glad i dont live in pg

Posted by: blackdiamond1 | May 10, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

PGC jurors are, perhaps, the most crime-enabling bunch of imbeciles on the planet. Too bad Mr. Spriggs wasn't initially put up in county jail's "Ronnie White Suite."

Posted by: mckdarrenDC | May 11, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I wonder if honkytonky1 was sitting on the jury. He sure gives a good taste of the views and values that prevail in Prince George's County, Maryland. It's a wonder anyone is ever convicted....

Posted by: RealityCheckerInEffect | May 11, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

RealityCheckInEffect you missed the point I was making totally. people can believe a system isn't convicting people when they see a case such as this, and this is a farce. 5.8 mil Black people wouldn't be in prisions if the system weren't locking up people. this number is obscene and it begs to ask if some cases are used as a means for people to get upset and call for more jailings when they aquit a guy as the one who more than likely murdered his girlfriend. its an economic thing

Posted by: honkytonky1 | May 12, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

let me post this final thing, PG is run by several families. the one thing PG has not changed in all its history is the mistreatement of its Black Citizens. whether innocent or guilty as far as the judicial system is concerned Blacks are treated unfairly across the board. just because there are Black judges/officials etc. doesn't mean a thing. The Justice Dep. has had to intervene several times because of how PG treats Blacks. We don't know who these folks are who are on juries these day. in my son's case one of the jurors turned to the defendant and winked at him as she passed. the lobbyist and insurance companies are in bed with officials and so this is why no judgements in cases clearly a violation of law. Blacks are not only jailed at an alarming rate in PG but they are murdered by police and nothing is done. PG is very racist and sadly they have Blacks who help keep the status quo. several people who had police spouses sat on my son's case, or had relatives who were police. in this case we don't know who those jurors were?

Posted by: honkytonky1 | May 13, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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