Rule 5-404. Character Evidence Not Admissable..
RULE 5-404. CHARACTER EVIDENCE NOT ADMISSIBLE TO PROVE CONDUCT; EXCEPTIONS; OTHER CRIMES
(b) Other Crimes, Wrongs, or Acts. Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts including delinquent acts as defined by Code, Courts Article, § 3-8A-01 is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith. Such evidence, however, may be admissible for other purposes, such as
proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, common scheme or plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.
-a trial court still must carefully balance the probative value of prior bad acts evidence against its potential for unfair prejudice ;Gutierrez, 423 Md. 476
-the evidence was not offered merely as evidence of defendant’s character. The evidence had a particular and significant non-prejudicial relevance – it was necessary to prove the statutory requirements of “two or more underlying crimes” the “were not part of the same incident” and defendant’s participation in a “criminal gang” under 9-801(c)
-the statute requires proving that the defendant engaged in a pattern of behavior with other individuals
-to the extent that such evidence may show a “propensity for criminal behavior,” the statute clearly allows such evidence as an exception to the rule, and in fact makes such evidence directly relevant to the offense; Marshall, 213 Md. App. 532