WESTMINSTER — A change in attorneys has postponed the first-degree murder and kidnapping trial of a Baltimore County man accused of killing a 74-year-old North Baltimore woman.
Abras Morrison, 20, was to be the first of two defendants to stand trial in the August murder and kidnapping of Margaret Cullen, whose beaten, stabbed and decomposed body was found dumped near a Hampstead cornfield.
Morrison and his friend and co-defendant, Troy Dominic Shellington, are in the Baltimore City Detention Center on $1 million full bond.
Morrison was represented by Leonard S. Freedman of Baltimore until Monday, when Baltimore attorney Morris L. Kaplan took over the case. The trial could be postponed until July, according to court records.
In recent suppression hearings, confessions of the crime from both men were ruled admissible for their trials.
Morrison was house-sitting for Cullen at her Homeland residence while her husband, a retired dentist, was hospitalized. Morrison also is accused of stealingone of Cullen's personal checks and forging a $2,000 payment to himself.
Shellington -- who met Morrison at church -- is scheduled to stand trial in Carroll Circuit Court on March 30.
POSTAL CLERK GUILTY
The woman who ran Lineboro's one-room post office was found guilty last week of stealing more than $600 in postal receipts.
Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold sentenced Barbara J. Hossler, 31, to three years of supervised probation, but offered her the chance to have the felony conviction wiped off her record if she makes restitution and completes the terms of her probation successfully.
Hossler, who ran the post office in the 4200 block of Main Street in Lineboro for almost four years, was charged in August with stealing $615 from the sale of stamps and money orders.
She had operated the post office since September 1987, providing box rentals for 120 customers here and selling stamps and other postal items.
Countycourt records say she used some of the money to make a $358 payment on her husband's pickup truck and to pay for other household expenses.
"I borrowed $358 for a loan payment on a truck," she said in a written deposition. "I did borrow extra money for groceries but am notsure of how much. I told the inspector the reason for me borrowing the money was because my husband was laid off."
She was ordered to pay back the money by March 1994.
Here is a compilation of some ofactivities in Carroll County courts:
Heather Arnold: 12 months unsupervised probation, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, speeding, March 9.
Michael Cartwright: 12 months supervised probation, 30 hours voluntary community service, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, theft, March 9.
Sterling Dubbert: Six years, 60 days in the Department of Corrections, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, violation of probation for possession of controlled dangerous substance conviction, March 11.
David Evanick: bench warrant issued, no bond, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, failed to make initial appearance ona driving while intoxicated charge, March 12.
Carl Fischer Jr.: 18 months unsupervised probation, $200 in costs, Circuit Judge FrancisM. Arnold, driving while intoxicated, March 12.
Geoff Humphrey Jr.: 18 months supervised probation, Drinking Driving Monitoring Program, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, driving while intoxicated, driving with licensed suspended, March 12.
Larry Jennings Sr.: 1 year inthe Carroll County Detention Center, all suspended, 36 months supervised probation, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, driving while intoxicated, March 10.
Gregory Leedy: 60 days Carroll County Detention Center, all suspended, 36 months supervised probation, Drinking Drivers Monitoring Program, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, driving while intoxicated, March 10.
Denise Luzius: 18 months supervised probation, Drinking Driving Monitoring Program, $200 costs, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, driving while intoxicated, March 10.
David Moore II: 90 days Carroll County Detention Center, all suspended, 24 monthssupervised probation, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, manufacturingcontrolled dangerous substances, March 10.
Ruth Shaw: 12 months unsupervised probation, Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold, speeding, March 10.