No bond for suspect in carjacking death

October 01, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A Washington teen-ager charged with first-degree murder in the carjacking death of a Savage mother was denied bond after a hearing in Howard Circuit Court yesterday.

Bernard Eric Miller, 16, has been held at the county Detention Center without bond since his arrest on Sept. 8.

The Miller youth, charged as an adult, was arrested in the murder of Pam Basu, who was dragged to her death after he and a co-defendant allegedly forced her from her vehicle near her home.

"The court finds that under all of the circumstances . . . that it is not appropriate to set a bond for this defendant, in this case, at this time," Circuit Judge James B. Dudley said in an order issued yesterday.

The co-defendant, Rodney Eugene Soloman, also of Washington, is being held without bond. Both defendants have been indicted on first-degree murder and 18 other charges.

Attorneys for the Miller youth argued before Judge Dudley yesterday that their client, an 11th grader, should be given bail so he can continue his education.

Arrangements have been made for the Miller youth to enroll in the district's special education program if he posts bail, said attorney Laurack Bray of Washington. Parole and probation officials would be able to monitor the youth.

Defense attorneys did not ask the judge to set a specific bond.

Assistant State's Attorney Christine Gage asked the judge to deny bond, noting that the Miller youth tried to flee the scene of Mrs. Basu's death.

Judge Dudley denied a motion by defense attorneys to send the case to the county juvenile court. He cited state laws that say defendants who are at least 14 years old and are charged with first-degree murder must be tried in Circuit Court.

Defense attorney David George of Silver Spring argued that the case should be sent to juvenile court because evidence will show that the murder was not planned.

Prosecutors can get a conviction for first-degree murder if they show that a defendant planned the victim's murder or if the victim died in the course of another felony crime, such as robbery or kidnapping, according to law.

Judge Dudley told the defense attorneys that they could renew their motion at Mr. Miller's trial.

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