Automobile manslaughter case may be appealed Guilty plea triggers prosecutors' action

December 18, 1991|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

The case of a Stevensville man whose conviction for automobile manslaughter was reversed because he paid a $35 fine may be headed back to the appeals court, after his guilty plea yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court to driving while intoxicated.

Judge John Grason Turnbull II sentenced John Charles Glaser, 37, to one year in prison. He was freed because he has served almost two years since being jailed in the June 30, 1989, traffic death of Everett Jones, 30, of North Point.

Immediately after that accident, Mr. Glaser paid a $35 fine for driving the wrong way on the Beltway in the crash. The prosecution used that traffic violation to win an automobile manslaughter conviction against Mr. Glaser in November 1989. Several lesser charges were dropped.

In February 1990, Circuit Judge William R. Buchanan Sr. sentenced Mr. Glaser to five years in prison.

But in May 1991, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled that the prosecution shouldn't have mentioned that Mr. Glaser had driven the wrong way as evidence in the manslaughter case. The court ruled that to do so violated his constitutional protection against being prosecuted twice for the same offense.

Over defense objections, the state resurrected the lesser charges, including the count of driving while intoxicated to which Mr. Glaser pleaded guilty yesterday.

Assistant State's Attorney John P. Cox said he and the attorney general's office will appeal to reinstate the more serious charges, automobile manslaughter and homicide by motor vehicle. He said the case can be proven without using the traffic violation as evidence.

Defense attorney Linda H. Lamone said Mr. Glaser remained imprisoned after his manslaughter conviction was reversed in May, because he could not pay bond in connection with the other charges. Judge Turnbull reduced the bond in September and Mr. Glaser was able to pay it.

O In 1983, Mr. Glaser served 20 days in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on a conviction for homicide by motor vehicle.

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