Posted On: May 24, 2012

Maryland Court of Appeals Decides to Not Reverse Ruling on DNA Collection

MD Criminal DNA Collection RulingMaryland’s highest court will not overturn or suspend its April ruling that prohibits DNA collection from individuals charged, but not convicted, of violent crimes and burglaries, The Washington Post reports. The Maryland Court of Appeals clerk’s office confirmed that judges denied the request of the Maryland Attorney General to reconsider the decision made in Alonzo Jay King Jr. v. State of Maryland, which found that swabbing criminal suspects for DNA after they are charged is a violation of their constitutional rights. With this new ruling, police will not be able to collect DNA from charged criminal suspects while they await action from the court.

The case centers around a piece of legislation in Maryland that allowed police, starting in 2009, to collect DNA from suspects after they were charged with burglaries or violent crimes; prior to this new law, police officers were only able to collect DNA from convicted criminals. Alonzo Jay King Jr. challenged the law after his April 2009 arrest in Wicomico County on first and second degree Maryland assault charges. Prosecutors in the case used a DNA swab from this case to connect him to a rape which occurred in 2003, and he was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the crime.

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Posted On: May 16, 2012

Homeless Man Shoots 2 at Maryland Episcopal Church, Turns Gun on Himself

A disgruntled homeless man fatally shot a secretary and critically wounded a priest at an Ellicott City church, according to a Delmarvanow.com news report. The homeless man, described as “argumentative and belligerent,” was reportedly turned away from a food bank because of increasingly aggressive behavior, which authorities believe may have been the motive for the shooting. After shooting the 59-year-old female secretary and the 62-year-old female priest for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the man killed himself in the woods where he lived with a handgun near the church, approximately 14 miles west of Baltimore.

The secretary, a resident of Ellicott City who worked for the church for seven years, was pronounced dead at the church after a custodian discovered the tragic scene and contacted police. Police and hospital officials report that the priest, who had been co-rector of the parish since 2009, was in critical condition at Shock Trauma in Baltimore after the shooting but later passed away. At the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland’s annual convention, the fatal shooting provoked anger, grief, and prayerful reflection. A Maryland bishop stated the anger was directed at a society that allowed a mentally ill individual to have a handgun.

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Posted On: May 10, 2012

MD Woman Arrested for Prescription Drug Fraud in Montgomery County

The Vienna Patch reports that a 24-year-old woman was arrested for attempting to fill fraudulent prescriptions at a Vienna pharmacy. The young woman, a resident of Gaithersburg, was arrested at the Vienna Drug Center and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where officers obtained a warrant for prescription fraud. An employee at the Vienna Drug Center alerted authorities around 10 p.m. on April 28 that someone was trying to fill a fraudulent prescription. Upon receiving the information, police also discovered that the woman was wanted in Montgomery County on a warrant for probation violation. The 24-year-old was held on a $5,000 bond for the various charges.

Prescription fraud is a very serious and growing problem in the U.S. Prescription drug fraud is defined as the acquiring or obtaining of a controlled substance by illegal means and the wrongful gain of prescription drugs for personal use, or profit, without a validated prescription from a physician. The crime of prescription fraud can be committed in a number of ways, including forging prescriptions, altering prescriptions to increase the quantity, and impersonating a physician over the phone.

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Posted On: May 8, 2012

‘Frosty the Snowman’ of Maryland Arrested in Chestertown Again, Faces Various Criminal Charges

A 52-year-old resident of Chestertown, previously arrested for the MD crime of assault in November, 2011 while dressed as the favorite holiday character Frosty the Snowman, is once again in trouble with the law, according to a WBOC.com news story. The man who, according to Chestertown police “makes bad decisions,” was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and related charges following an incident that occurred in front of the man’s home on High Street.

According to the report, police passed the man’s house twice and as the 52-year-old walked toward their vehicle, one of the officers proceeded to get out of the car. ‘Frosty,’ who was not in costume at the time, became “irate and angry” and was using profanity, according to the police officer’s statement. Police suggested he go back inside his home and reportedly gave him many opportunities to cease and desist, but the man continued to act inappropriately and was therefore arrested.

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Posted On: May 2, 2012

Anne Arundel County Increasing DUI Enforcement on Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, a holiday which celebrates Mexican heritage and commemorates the Mexican army’s victory during Battle of the Puebla, has become a day not only celebrated in Mexico but in the United States as well. Cinco de Mayo has also become one of a handful of holidays throughout the year that has become synonymous with drinking as partygoers around the country, regardless of heritage, get together with friends and family to have fun and likely a few drinks. As such, drunk driving is especially a problem on this holiday as some may choose to act carelessly and get behind the wheel after drinking.

In order to prevent dangerous DUI (driving under the influence) accidents, the Anne Arundel County Police Department is stepping up DUI enforcement on Saturday, May 5. The Odenton-Severn Patch reports that County police will be coordinating efforts with various law enforcement agencies and will be assigning officers to DUI enforcement throughout the county. In addition, officers will be targeting roads previously identified as having high rates of drunk driving-related accidents and arrests.

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