Convicted Killer in 2005 Slaying of Rockville Woman Continues Appeal
Circuit court allows Bowie man to pursue challenge
Antoine Gatewood was back in county Circuit Court on Friday as part of the appeal process for his 2005 murder conviction.
A Bowie man convicted of killing a Rockville woman in 2005 returned on Friday to the court where he was sentenced to life in prison, part of his most recent attempt to appeal.
Antoine L. Gatewood, 47, was found guilty after a weeklong jury trial in November 2005 of murder, robbery and first-degree burglary in the death of his ex-girlfriend, 24-year-old Emily Cagal.
A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge sentenced Gatewood at the time to life in prison with the possibility of parole, despite a jury’s recommendation to revoke parole, according to news reports.
The state Court of Appeals in July 2008 denied Gatewood’s attempt to have the case reviewed.
Gatewood filed an application for permission to appeal the denial of post-conviction relief in 2017, but Circuit Court Judge Anne Albright denied the request, ruling the application was submitted beyond the deadline.
Gatewood then appealed Albright’s decision to the state Court of Specials Appeals, which found that an update to laws regarding court filings from prison could be applied to this situation. The court remanded the case back to Circuit Court to determine whether Gatewood’s filing complied with the requirements of the new laws.
Gatewood appeared in Circuit Court on Friday in a blue button-down shirt and navy slacks. Albright questioned him about the day he submitted the paperwork. Gatewood supplied a copy of the mailroom log showing he dropped off the application on April 24, 2017, which would be in time.
“It shows I indeed mailed it off on April 24,” Gatewood said.
Albright accepted Gatewood’s explanation, finding that the application was mailed in time and issued an order to have it forwarded to the state Court of Special Appeals.
State law doesn’t allow for the automatic right to a post-conviction appeal; defendants have to apply for the opportunity. Gatewood’s application would give him permission to take that next step in the process, if it is accepted.
Prosecutors cited robbery as the motive for the March 2 murder, noting that Gatewood was in significant financial trouble at the time of the incident, according to news reports.
Gatewood testified that he got into an argument with Cagal, who pulled a gun, leading him to strike her with a bookend, according to news reports. Gatewood hit her repeatedly, then picked up his roommate, Dion Desir, to help dispose of the body. He also made off with $16,000.
Cagal’s body was found two weeks later in a shallow grave in Upper Marlboro, according to news reports.
Desir, 39, of Largo, was charged with accessory after the fact and sentenced to 15 months in prison. He was paroled just over a year after the sentencing.
Charlie Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org