Drug case defendant again has bail denied Prosecutors fear harm to police officers

May 03, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff writer

Bail has been denied again to a drug defendant who was told by Carroll County Narcotics Task Force officers that they would not plea bargain with him because of his attorney.

Gordon L. Cartnail, a 19-year-old Eldersburg man who has been charged with assault, attempted murder and various drug possession and distribution offenses, had his $15,000 bail bond revoked April 23 by Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr.

Cartnail's bond was revoked because prosecutors said they believed he would flee Carroll and possibly shoot police officers if a rearrest was attempted.

Cartnail's lawyer -- prominent Westminster attorney Stephen P. Bourexis -- filed a motion on Tuesday to have Beck's decision overturned. On Wednesday, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. refused to overturn it.

Cartnail was arrested last December and charged with attempted murder, assault and drug possession and distribution stemming from a Dec. 21 drive-by shooting in Westminster. He was granted -- and posted -- $20,000 bond.

While out on bail, Cartnail was again arrested March 27. Members of the drug task force conducted a raid on his Eldersburg home and charged him with possession and distribution of cocaine. He was held at the Carroll County Detention Center without bond.

A Carroll grand jury handed down indictments in the case on April 2. Subsequently, Cartnail's bond was reduced to $15,000, with $1,500 enough to secure it, by Burns on April 13.

While still in jail on April 15 -- Cartnail was unable to come up with the money to gain release from the detention center -- he was served with the grand jury indictments by a member of the county drug task force.

It was then that Cartnail learned of an informal policy banning dealing with Bourexis' clients, court testimony showed.

That was also when Cartnail was said to have promised to flee Carroll County and threatened to shoot Westminster Detective Sgt. Andrew McKendrick if he attempted to rearrest him.

During the April 23 bail-revocation hearing in front of Beck, two members of the five-member drug task force testified that "an informal policy" of not making deals with Bourexis' clients exists.

Tfc. Robert Heisles testified that it's "probably common knowledge" in the task force that they would "not work with" anybody represented by Bourexis.

Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III denies that any such policy exists in the drug task force, but he does say that they experience difficulties when dealing with Bourexis.

While Cartnail was denied bail by Beck on April 23 because the judge believed the young man would flee to Florida, change his )) appearance and violently resist any future arrest, Bourexis based last week's appeal on the testimony from the task force officers.

Cartnail "is again illegally confined or restrained in his liberty by being held without bond," Bourexis' filing said.

The state is further punishing Cartnail "for exercising his right to counsel of his choice under the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States," the filing said.

On Wednesday, Burns chose not to overturn Beck's decision. Bourexis is expected to appeal the revocation of bond to the Court of Special Appeals in the coming week.

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