Judge rules out new manslaughter trial in traffic case State may renew other charges against man, court says

September 19, 1991|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun gRB

A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that prosecutors may resurrect some charges against a Stevensville man whose conviction for automobile manslaughter was overturned because he had paid a $35 traffic fine.

But Judge John Grason Turnbull II said John Charles Glaser may not be tried again on the manslaughter charge, citing a Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruling in the case in May.

The appeals court found that Mr. Glaser had admitted guilt by paying a fine for driving the wrong way on the Beltway on June 30, 1989. It ruled that the state could not file criminal charges in the case because that would require using the traffic violation as evidence and to do so would constitute double jeopardy -- being tried twice for the same crime.

Everett Jones, 30, of North Point was killed in the accident.

Assistant State's Attorney John P. Cox and Assistant Maryland Attorney General Valerie J. Smith said they might appeal Judge Turnbull's ruling on the manslaughter charge.

Likewise, Linda H. Lamone, an attorney for Mr. Glaser, said the defense might appeal the judge's decision allowing the state to proceed with the other charges dropped after the first trial, including homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, negligent driving and driving with a suspended license.

Ms. Lamone noted that Mr. Glaser has been jailed on the charges since November 1989 and remained at the Poplar Hill Pre-Release Unit in Quantico in lieu of $30,000 bond even after his conviction was reversed.

Yesterday, Judge Turnbull reduced the bond to $5,000.

Judge William R. Buchanan Sr. convicted Mr. Glaser on the manslaughter charge in February 1990 and imposed the maximum five-year sentence. The other charges were dropped.

It was the second time Mr. Glaser, 37, had been convicted of killing someone while driving drunk. He served 20 days in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center after a conviction in 1983 for homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated.

In the 1989 accident, he was driving the wrong way on the inner loop of the Baltimore Beltway when his car hit one driven by Mr. Jones.

Baltimore County police cited Mr. Glaser for a blood-alcohol level of 0.24, driving the wrong way on a one-way street and driving while intoxicated. In Maryland, an alcohol level of 0.10 is legally drunk.

Mr. Glaser paid the $35 fine for driving the wrong way but was indicted several months later on the manslaughter charge.

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