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Appeals court denies new trial for alleged MS-13 gang member

In this Nov. 28, 2014 photo, a MS-13 gang graffiti is painted next to door of the Jose Ramon Montoya school in a Travesia neighborhood in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has rejected the appeal of an alleged MS-13 gang member sentenced to 11 years in prison after the stabbing of a former gang member.

In a ruling Wednesday, the Court of Appeals said a trial judge erred in 2013 in refusing to allow the defense attorney for Wilfredo Rosales to use the stabbing victim’s prior federal convictions for violent crimes involving racketeering in an effort to attack his credibility as a witness.

But the court said the error was harmless and refused to grant Rosales a new trial.

The stabbing victim, Hector Hernandez-Melendez, said he believed he was attacked in retaliation for testifying as a government witness against three other MS-13 members in a federal murder trial several years earlier.

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