N.Y. man charged in trooper's death alters appearance

April 11, 1991|By Michael J. Clark | Michael J. Clark,Howard County Bureau of The Sun

When Eric Tirado, the New York man charged with murdering state police Cpl. Theodore D. Wolf, showed up cleanshaven for a court appearance March 26, prosecutors were taken aback by the change in his appearance.

Tirado, 26, of the Bronx, had a mustache and beard when he was charged with the March 29, 1990, murder, and he looked the same as late as March 8, when the state served notice that it would seek the death penalty against him.

By coming to court cleanshaven, Tirado has "substantially altered his prior physical appearance," prosecutors Michael D. Rexroad and Timothy G. Wolf said in a motion filed yesterday. They noted that witnesses "have described the perpetrator as having a mustache and beard."

The prosecutors are asking Circuit Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. to order Tirado "to refrain from shaving or in any way preventing growth of his facial hair" until after his trial, which was set for June 3 during his appearance in court last month.

A motion "to compel similar appearance is infrequently filed, but it is not unprecedented," said Mr. Rexroad.

"The only fair in-court identification is one based on the defendant's appearance at the time of the commission of the offense and not one based on his subsequently altered appearance," he said.

Judge Kane will hear a series of motions in the Tirado case next Wednesday, including the issue of whether Tirado should be allowed to shave.

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