Parolee charged in fatal accident Accused was graduate of prison boot camp

December 28, 1991|By John Rivera d

An 18-year-old graduate of the state prison system's boot camp was charged yesterday in Queen Anne's County with vehicular homicide while intoxicated.

The charge was the result of a Dec. 21 hit-and-run accident that killed a 14-year-old boy, state police said.

The accident occurred just nine days after Marcus Terone Lovett of Chester, who was also charged with manslaughter and making false statements to a police officer, graduated from the Herman L. Toulson Correctional Boot Camp in Jessup.

Lovett had been convicted earlier this year of narcotics distribution in Talbot County. He was sentenced in June to 12 years in prison, with seven suspended, said Susan G. Kaskie, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Parole and Probation.

He was offered a place in the boot camp -- in which prisoners receive early parole after completing six months of strict discipline and physical training as well as academic and decision-making courses -- and completed the program on Dec. 12.

The military-style program is open to first-time offenders convicted of non-violent crimes.

Lovett was under intense supervision following his release from the program and had last seen his parole officer on Dec. 23, two days after the accident, Ms. Kaskie said.

The combination of the boot camp program and the intensive supervision that follows it has led to a very low recidivism rate for the more than 300 people who have completed the program, she said. At present, there have been no more than two offenders who have returned to prison, she said.

The accident occurred at 8:05 p.m. last Saturday as Lovett drove a 1976 Mercedes-Benz south on Grasonville Cemetery Road in Graysonville and tried to pass the car in front of him, said Sgt. Curtis Benton of the Centreville state police barracks.

When Lovett moved into the northbound lane of the two-lane road, he struck 14-year-old Jermaine C. Burke of Queenstown, who had been walking with a friend along the shoulder of the road, police said. Lovett then swerved back into the southbound lane and rear-ended the car he was trying to pass, Sergeant Benton said.

The car Lovett was driving skidded to a halt on the right side of the road and he and a passenger fled on foot, police said. The Burke youth was pronounced dead at the scene from massive head injuries.

When Lovett arrived home, he allegedly called police and reported that his car had been stolen, Sergeant Benton said. He returned to the scene of the accident about two hours later. After questioning him, police decided he was the driver of the Mercedes and arrested him.

After he was taken to the state police barracks and given a Breathalyzer test, Lovett was charged with driving while intoxicated and released, Sergeant Benton said. The additional criminal charges were filed yesterday after state police investigators consulted with the state's attorney's office in Queen Anne's County. The passenger in Lovett's car was not charged.

Lovett was being held last night on $20,000 bond at the Queen Anne's County Detention Center.

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