Posted On: January 26, 2010

Man Accused of Shooting Clerk at Drive-Through Window

A Columbia man was recently arrested and charged with wounding a Dunkin’ Donuts clerk in Anne Arundel County. Police reported that on December 12, 2009 a clerk was shot through a drive-through window after refusing to comply with demands for cash from a man who came to the drive-through window armed with a shotgun. The wounded clerk was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment of serious injuries. The 21-year-old alleged shooter was captured by the police department’s Special Enforcement Team and has been charged with attempted murder.

An attempted murder charge is a form of assault and since the man was carrying a gun, charges may be increased. Penalties could include extended prison time and large fines. Although it is legal to own a gun in the U.S., most citizens are prohibited from carrying one on their person in public. If law enforcement suspects you of carrying a gun, they can legally search you and your vehicle.

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Posted On: January 21, 2010

Forensic Expert Indicates a Lack of DNA Evidence in Homicide Trial

Testimony from a forensic DNA expert was heard during the trial of a 39-year-old man charged with the murder of a 27-year-old Salisbury man. Two other suspects were previously indicted by a grand jury for the killing after paramedics found the victim unconscious with his ankles and wrists duct taped inside the home of one of the accused. According to prosecutors, drugs and money were the motive behind the killing. A fourth individual who was allegedly involved, was found dead earlier this year from an apparent suicide.

During the December trial, the defense’s forensic DNA expert testified that there was no DNA evidence linking the defendant to the evidence submitted by police for testing. Maryland State Police submitted 21 pieces of evidence; however, swab samples taken from the items, and not the items themselves, were used for testing purposes.

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Posted On: January 19, 2010

New Application Alerts Drivers to DUI Checkpoints

Drivers with a GPS or Smartphone can now receive instant warnings when approaching DUI checkpoints and speed traps as well as red light and speed cameras. Police fear that this will aid offenders in escaping arrest. Phantom Alert is the company that produces the application which began as a method to help drivers avoid tickets for a small fee.

The checkpoint notification shows up on devices as a martini glass followed by a police car. In Washington D.C, common DUI checkpoints are around popular nightspots. Employees at Phantom Alert are instructed to search police press releases and news reports for new locations. There is also an option for users to report their own findings, which can be helpful to other users since in areas like Montgomery County, Maryland, police sometimes announce checkpoints without specific locations.

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Posted On: January 14, 2010

Woman Killed in a Two-Car Crash

A 34 year old woman from Pennsylvania was killed in a two-car crash when the driver of the pick-up truck she was riding in lost control of the vehicle on an icy part of Old York Road in White Hall and crashed into another vehicle. According to the Baltimore Sun, a 41 year old man was driving his 2006 Ford pick-up truck on Old York Road when he crossed a double yellow line to pass a 2005 Chevrolet pick-up truck, skidded on the icy pavement and crashed into the other truck. The woman, reportedly from Stewartstown, was killed as a result of the collision. The driver of the Ford truck was ejected from his vehicle and transported by ambulance to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he was listed in critical condition. The driver of the Chevrolet pickup was uninjured.

Driving in wintertime can be more dangerous, as rain, snow and ice affect a vehicle’s traction on the road. If road conditions are very icy, tire chains for your front wheels can be used to aid in traction. Rain puddles and flooding can cause vehicles to lose grip and hydroplane, which can cause a vehicle to spin out of control.

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Posted On: January 12, 2010

Report Shows that Police Taser Use Does Not Follow Standards

Two years ago a man died after a police officer shot him twice with a taser outside of his home in Frederick. Although a grand jury ruled that the officer was justified in his actions, Maryland’s Attorney General was prompted to begin a comprehensive review of police use of tasers. The breakthrough findings were recently released.

The report indicated that police officers have an over-reliance on the weapon, despite the fact that they are told in training to treat tasers as if they were guns or other deadly weapons. The report also showed that not all officers should use tasers and that the weapon should not be used against unarmed people fleeing or destroying evidence as the device can cause death or serious injury in certain circumstances.

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Posted On: January 8, 2010

Two Men Arrested for First Degree Murder and Assault in 2007 Crime

Two years ago in October, a 21-year-old man was found dead just inside Leakin Park in Baltimore. According to police reports, a motorist who had been driving through the park discovered the body of the man early on the morning of October 10, 2007. The victim's head was covered with duct tape and blood was discovered on his face and head. It was determined that the victim had been shot twice in the head after being abducted the day before. It is unclear what provoked the attack, considering that the victim, who was originally from Ghana, had no criminal record in Maryland.

Two men ages 23 and 30 were arrested on Thursday December 17, 2009 and charged with first degree murder, assault and various handgun charges in the Baltimore murder. They have been ordered to be held without bond. Both suspects charged in this case had prior criminal convictions including burglary and handgun charges. One of the suspects was also found not guilty in 2004 of attempted first-degree murder.

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Posted On: January 7, 2010

Maryland Pushes for Stricter Gun Laws

The state of Maryland has recently been marked with an increase in gun violence, homicides and police involved shootings, especially in Baltimore City. One solution that many are vying for is stricter gun laws and sentencing for gun offenders as well as no credit for good behavior to shorten prison time. The governor supports harsher legislation for gun violence and better prosecution to put offenders in jail for longer periods of time. However, tougher gun laws have failed in the past few years and leaders are planning to push for stricter legislation in the next year.

The second amendment of the constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms. However protection laws can be confusing to legal gun owners. Many people who face firearm charges in Maryland have criminal records; however, there are also many individuals charged who are legal owners of firearms who did not know they were breaking the law. Many prosecutors and leaders in Maryland agree with stricter gun legislation and will continue to push for reform. This means that even small violations can hold a mandatory minimum jail sentence.

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