Ruling forbids state to retry drunken driver in fatal '89 crash Manslaughter conviction was reversed in May because driver had paid $35 traffic ticket.

September 19, 1991|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Evening Sun Staff

Pearl Jones did not scream or cry out, but she could barely control her anger after a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge dismissed manslaughter charges against the 37-year-old Stevensville man who killed her son in a drunken-driving crash on the Baltimore Beltway in June 1989.

Jones rushed from the courtroom where Judge John Grason Turnbull 2nd had just ruled that manslaughter charges against John Charles Glaser were dismissed on double jeopardy grounds. Turnbull also lowered Glaser's bail from $30,000 to $5,000.

Turnbull's ruling yesterday echoed that of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, which ruled in May that Glaser's 1989 manslaughter conviction must be reversed because he already had been convicted of the crime by paying a $35 traffic ticket for driving the wrong way.

But the decision was different because the judge said the state could not retry Glaser on the manslaughter charge, even if it did not use the traffic citation evidence.

Prosecutor John P. Cox said an appeal, which must be filed in 30 days, is "very likely."

Glaser was drunk and driving the wrong way on the Beltway when he slammed into a car driven by Everett Lee Jones, 30, of North Point. Jones died the next day.

"I don't understand it," Pearl Jones said after Turnbull's ruling on Glaser. "My son was his second victim."

In 1983, Glaser had received a 20-day sentence for a traffic-accident death while driving drunk in Anne Arundel County. A passenger in his car died.

After successfully arguing for lower bail, Gill Cochran, one of Glaser's attorneys, said he expects Glaser to post bail "within 24 hours." Glaser, in prison since November 1989, was being held at a prerelease unit.

Although Turnbull dismissed the manslaughter charge, he refused to dismiss seven other charges against Glaser from the accident. Those include homicide by motor vehicle while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence.

Cox said he will prosecute Glaser on those charges, and charges of reckless driving, negligent driving and driving in violation of an alcohol restriction. It is possible that Glaser could get a four-year, two-month sentence and a $1,500 fine, Cox said.

A trial date has not been set.

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