A Forestville man will get a new trial in the November 2006 killing of his ex-girlfriend, a FedEx security guard with whom he was battling over child support, Maryland's highest court has ruled.
The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed Fabian A. Shim's first-degree murder conviction in Prince George's County Circuit Court and ordered that he receive a new trial. The appeals court ruled that the trial judge was wrong in refusing to ask prospective jurors about their biases toward violent deaths and later gave an improper instruction to the jury about a defendant's flight from the crime scene.
Shim was convicted of shooting Reina Natasha Lynch in the head with a shotgun in the security booth of the Beltsville FedEx facility where she worked.
At trial, the judge wouldn't let the defense ask prospective jurors whether they "have such strong feelings concerning the violent death of another human being that you would be unable to render a fair and impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented?” But the appeals court held that Shim is "entitled to inquire into this potential bias."
The court also said prosecutors need to prove that defendant did more than just depart from a crime scene to argue that he fled the area as a sign of guilt.