By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Here's the most revealing exchange:
Maryland: "Isn't it true, Valerie, you told me that I could fuck you up?"
Maryland: "You asked me to kill you; do you remember that?"
Maryland: "At some point, do you remember telling me that you were the Devil and that you were sent here to destroy a life?"
A flustered Maryland took the witness stand, questioned himself for more than a day and told jurors they can't hold him responsible if his ex-wife responded to the beatings with appreciation.
"She's, like, 'I'm really sorry this happened' . . . da, da, da, da," he testified. "And she said, 'Do you forgive me?' The Bible tells me if somebody asks you for forgiveness, you're supposed to give them forgiveness. And I forgave her. I said, 'Of course, I do. You're not perfect.'"
During sidebar conversations with Conley, he repeatedly explained that Valerie deserved her beating because she had "disrespected me."
In his closing argument, Maryland called Valerie "a liar," the prosecution's evidence "weak," and his trial a "sideshow" run by "a kangaroo court" determined to criminalize the "civil" affairs between a husband and a wife.
"If you have your notebooks handy," he tearfully told the jury. "I would appreciate you just writing down one word: Agreement! Agreement! Agreement! Why is this word so important? Because, ladies and gentlemen, the word 'agreement' disproves any criminal intent on my part. I may have done the action, but I did not have the intent, and without intent, there is no crime. We had an agreement!"
The jury agreed with prosecutor Lynda Fernandez, who said, "Don't let the defendant manipulate you with his crocodile tears and his invocation of the Bible."
They convicted him on all 18 felony charges. Conley rendered punishment: more than 140 years in prison.
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A year ago, state officials acting in response to complaints from crime victims, including the distressed parents of a teenager contacted by her convicted molester, announced that prisoners would no longer be permitted to have personal Internet pages. The new rule hasn't impacted Maryland, who currently has at least three Facebook pages and a Match.com entry.
In his online-dating-service ad, he describes himself as a "Christian American man" who doesn't smoke ("No way!") and "never" drinks. He sells himself as "smart, funny, sexy [and] enlightened" Taurus. He's interested in "coffee and conversation, business networking, dining out, movies/videos, museums and art, music and concerts, and exploring new areas."
He does admit he's in prison because he "discovered his ex-wife cheating on him." For interested women, he adds that he's also a "television/motion-picture producer and CEO" who worked on The X-Files. (He doesn't say that while he did play an FBI agent in a lone episode standing next to star David Duchovny, he appeared for less than 40 seconds.) The ad includes a sloppily cropped photo of Maryland trying to look debonair.
Busch—who told KROQ she is frustrated by Maryland's "naysayers"—added her own endorsement: "RARE FIND! [Maryland] believes what you 'put out,' you get back abundantly. . . . Don't let him get away!"
* * *
Maryland is hoping for a miracle to free him from a sentence that keeps him incarcerated until he's 185 years old. In media interviews, Busch said she hopes judges will see the mistake and free him this year. But in 2009, a California Court of Appeal in Santa Ana thoroughly considered and rejected his complaints. Justice Richard D. Fybel opined that Maryland had displayed "an extreme indifference to [his ex-wife's] life."
In the past two years, the California Supreme Court and a U.S. District Court declined to overturn the convictions. Maryland refuses to give up. Busch filed a new motion with the court of appeal in late July.
In the brief, Maryland now claims that a forensic scientist in the Orange County Crime Lab lied about the presence of Valerie's blood on a knife found at the crime scene. He says the substance wasn't blood, but rather "chocolate pudding" and concludes a new trial is necessary.
"Are we living in a communist society?" he wrote. "If this judgment is allowed to stand, the message being sent—our constitutional rights as U.S. citizens have been summarily abrogated, ignored and destroyed . . . in a communist wave following Marxist tenets."
He'd blamed Valerie, deputies, prosecutors and the judge. He'd even blamed cocaine, the Devil and Marxism. He's now found a new excuse.
His "all-white jury," Maryland told the justices, "thought I was another O.J. Simpson and that this time they would get it right. I was completely prejudiced [against]. I feel like I was railroaded. I want my freedom and livelihood back again. I want justice."
This article appeared in print as "Prince of Darkness: Prince Edward Maryland, a notoriously savage rapist, claims it's okay to donate to his anti-domestic-violence charity because he's repentant."