OCEAN CITY — A reversal on one element of an appeal filed by a man convicted of manslaughter was not enough to toss out the entire conviction, the state’s Court of Special Appeals opined this week.
In June 2014, a Worcester County Circuit Court jury found George Nottingham, now 51, of West Ocean City, guilty on all counts related to the January 2013 death of Michael Post including manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and affray. Nottingham was later sentenced to seven years for the manslaughter conviction, the maximum allowed under the guidelines, along with five years each for second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and affray, all of which is being served concurrently.
Nottingham’s appeal asserted when the prosecutors left out the “to the terror of the people” element in the affray definition, they biased the jury on the affray verdict, which, in turn, biased the jury on the verdicts for manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment. The Court of Appeals reviewed the case and determined the prosecution did err in its definition of affray and ultimately tossed out the conviction on that charge alone.