Canale Appealing Manslaughter Conviction

BERLIN – The local man convicted on manslaughter charges and sentenced to 10 years in jail last month in the beating death of a Berlin teen in May last week filed a notice of appeal from jail in Baltimore where he is temporarily being held while corrections officials determine his ultimate fate.

Dominic Canale, 22, of Ocean City, who was convicted of manslaughter in the beating death of 19-year-old Michael Harry Mitchell in Berlin last May and later sentenced to 10 years in prison, last week filed a notice of appeal from his temporary home at the Maryland Reception, Diagnostics and Classification (MRDSS) Center in Baltimore. Supervising Attorney for the Public Defender System Jerome LaCorte filed the notice of appeal on Canale’s behalf last Thursday.

“Mr. Canale spoke to a paralegal in our office and said he wanted to file an appeal in his case,” said LaCorte. “It has to be filed within 30 days or else he loses his chance for an appeal. What I filed is merely a notice of intent to appeal and I can’t begin to speculate on what grounds he is appealing.”

LaCorte said now that the notice of appeal has been filed, a public defender’s office clerk will make a request for the trial transcripts and a lawyer, either a public defender or a private sector attorney, will read through the transcripts and determine if there are any abnormalities or inherent problems with the way the case was handled to warrant an a further appeal with the state’s Court of Special Appeals.

Salisbury attorney Charles Bruce Anderson, who defended Canale at the Circuit Court level, said this week he doesn’t typically do appellant work and was no longer representing Canale.

Meanwhile, Canale remains behind bars at MRDCC, a sort of temporary holding facility where convicted felons await their ultimate destination. LaCorte said corrections officials are reviewing Canale’s case, his age, his past record, his propensity for violence and a variety of other factors to determine where in the state’s vast prison system he should ultimately be placed. He added there is no timetable for the final placement and the process could take months based on the caseload.

Meanwhile, another man who allegedly played a key role in the fateful night last May is scheduled to face his own trial in two weeks. Michael Ryan, 31, of Berlin, who hosted the party and is widely believed to have started the fight that escalated into the baseball bat attack that killed Mitchell, has been charged with second-degree assault, false statement and obstructing and hindering a police officer for his role in the incident and is scheduled to appear for a two-day trial on March 3-4 in Circuit Court.