A Maryland appeals court on Wednesday unanimously reinstated the case against a man who had been facing charges in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of 14-year-old Gavin Knupp outside Ocean City in 2022.

In a 22-page opinion, Appellate Judge Rosalyn Tang wrote that the trial judge erred when he dismissed the case against Tyler Mailloux. The ruling comes less than one month after a three-judge panel of Appellate Court of Maryland heard oral argument in the case.

“While we were always confident that our arguments were correct and firmly grounded in statute and case law, we are grateful for the reported opinion of the Appellate Court,” Worcester County State’s Attorney Kristin Heiser said in a statement. “We intend, as we always have, to prosecute all charges against Mr. Mailloux in the Worcester County Circuit Court as soon as the case can be scheduled for trial.”

Mailloux, 23, of Berlin, had been facing 17 counts in the hit-and-run, which happened before 10:45 p.m. on Grays Corner Road near Riddle Lane on July 11, 2022. Law enforcement alleged that he left the scene and kept the 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 that he’d been driving in a garage.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

But Circuit Judge Brett W. Wilson in 2023 dismissed the case, ruling that the state’s attorney improperly filed the charges in Worcester County Circuit Court instead of the District Court of Maryland. The Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office immediately appealed the ruling.

It’s unclear when Mailloux will appear back in court. His attorney who argued the appeal, Assistant Public Defender Celia Anderson Davis, did not have a comment.

The case galvanized people in the tight-knit communities of Ocean City and Ocean Pines and beyond. A Facebook group called Do It For Gavin - Justice for Gavin has more than 24,000 members.

Family photo of Gavin Knupp
14-year-old Gavin Knupp in a family photo. (Courtesy photo)

In a statement issued through their attorney, Neil Dubovsky, the Knupp family said it was “immensely gratified” with the opinion and remained “supremely confident” in the state’s attorney and her team.

“Today’s ruling helps bring us closer to justice and for that, we are appreciative.”