- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
St. Mary’s jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict Thursday on murder, burglary and robbery charges against a Great Mills man accused of plotting a home invasion last winter that left a St. Inigoes resident dead.
The jurors acquitted Joseph William Medley III, 30, of a charge of conspiracy to commit an armed robbery. After about six hours of deliberations, the jurors’ foreman wrote to the trial judge that they had “been at a 6-6 split since this morning. We need more direction, or we are done.”
Medley was the third defendant to stand trial on charges from the Feb. 7 nighttime attack on 37-year-old Robert Lee McDowney Sr. at his home off Beachville Road. Medley’s trial centered on testimony from two witnesses — a getaway driver and a former administrative employee at the St. Mary’s jail, who is now in prison after he as convicted earlier this year of an assault charge in Calvert County. Matthew David Griffiths, 28, of Lusby said he was in St. Mary’s jail awaiting sentencing when he shared an isolation cellblock’s dayroom with Medley, and that during a series of conversations, Medley confided that he planned the robbery after McDowney disrespected him at a party.
Earlier this week, Oshia M. Lewis, a Hyattsville woman who has not been charged in the case, told jurors that she drove the two men who actually carried out the robbery from Laurel to St. Mary’s, but did not suspect until they met Medley outside a Lexington Park convenience store that a robbery had been planned.
“Medley had hopped into my car,” she said. “He pointed out the house and said, ‘That’s the house you’re going to hit.’”
Last summer, James Kenneth Clay Jr., 36, was convicted in a jury trial of first-degree felony murder, a burglary-conspiracy offense and a handgun charge in the case. A judge sentenced Clay to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 26 consecutive years.
Andre Lionel Bowman, 31, of Laurel is seeking a new trial after he also was convicted of first-degree felony murder in the case. A judge recently agreed to a request by Bowman’s lawyer that police look for DNA evidence on any swabs from the investigation that have not already been tested.
Robert Bonsib, Medley’s lawyer, told the jurors at the beginning of his client’s trial that the only thing connecting Medley to the three people who drove into McDowney’s driveway were “words,” spoken by “Oshia Lewis and this jailhouse rat.”
Bonsib argued that Lewis “didn’t just happen into this situation,” and that even if jurors believed the prosecution’s account of what happened, his client should not have been charged.
“He should have gotten this deal, because he did a whole lot less than Oshia Lewis,” Bonsib said. “Their roles [in court] should be reversed.”
Neither Medley nor any other defense witnesses testified at his trial.