Robbery charge lifts 17-year-old's bail to $1 million Bond in slaying was $100,000

October 09, 1992|By Glenn Small and Sheridan Lyons | Glenn Small and Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writers

Stunned when a judge set bail at only $100,000 for a 17-year-old Baltimore youth accused of murdering a woman near the Owings Mills Metro station, Baltimore County police yesterday slapped the suspect with an armed robbery charge -- and got bail set at $1 million.

Police lodged the armed robbery charge against Nigel Antonio Carter of the 2300 block of N. Rosedale St. after Judge John C. Coolahan set bail for the Carter youth at $100,000 at a 9 a.m. bail review hearing on murder and handgun charges in Owings Mills District Court.

"Let's put it this way, there was a lot of concern around here," said a law enforcement official who asked not to be named. "A $100,000 bail these days is just a drop in the bucket."

Friends and relatives of the victim also complained loudly.

Terrie Leavey of Reisterstown, who roomed with the slain woman for three years, said she called everyone from the governor and ** Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski to local officials in the mistaken impression that they could tell the judge what to do.

"I've worked eight years as a loan officer," Ms. Leavey said. "It's not hard [to get the bail money] if they own a house."

She said she was fearful. "Last night [Wednesday], I was like, 'Oh thank God, they caught the guy,' and today it was like they kicked my feet out from under me," she said.

On Wednesday, police charged young Carter as an adult with first-degree murder and a handgun violation in the death of Owings Mills Mall employee Christina M. Brown. A court commissioner ordered the youth held without bail that night pending a review hearing before a judge yesterday morning.

Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a county police spokesman, said the Carter youth's bail review hearing was moved up and transferred to Owings Mills "because we thought there could be some problems" and because there was cell space in the Garrison lockup.

The problems to which he referred occurred Wednesday night outside the Towson precinct, where another friend of the victim confronted the suspect.

"I showed him a photo and said, 'Look at her, look at what you took away from us,' " said Barbara Morris of Reisterstown.

S. Ann Brobst, an assistant state's attorney, said yesterday that she did not attend yesterday's bail review hearing but did pass on the state's recommendation of no bail.

DTC Asked if she was unhappy about Judge Coolahan's decision, Mrs. Brobst said, "We had recommended that the bail be denied."

After the new charges were lodged, Towson District Court Commissioner William Mosner set young Carter's bail at $1 million on the armed robbery charge.

A bail review hearing on that charge was scheduled for this morning in Towson District Court. Mrs. Brobst said she would be there to present evidence of the Carter youth's background, although she would not give any details.

Judge Coolahan, who developed a reputation as a conservative, law-and-order state legislator before being named to the bench, could not be reached for comment.

Police have accused the Carter youth of killing Ms. Brown, 28, an employee of a cleaning company contracted by Saks Fifth Avenue in the Owings Mills Mall, on Sept. 25 on a pathway between the mall and the Metro station.

Ms. Brown, according to police, was on her way home from work and walking to the Metro stop when she was accosted, robbed of her purse containing $120 and shot once in the head.

A Motor Vehicle Administration identification card was dropped in a mailbox by a passer-by, who later came forward in response to police pleas for information in the case.

After the shooting, the Carter youth allegedly told a friend -- who later became an informant for police -- that he "capped," or shot, Ms. Brown because "she was giving him a rough way to go" during the robbery, according to court records.

Yesterday, Ms. Morris, who said she was "adopted sisters" with Ms. Brown, said her friend probably resisted because she had pictures of friends and family and "she was very sentimental."

Ms. Morris confronted the accused Wednesday night outside the District Court in Towson. "I showed him a photo and said 'Look at her, look at what you took away from us,' and he cracked like a damn smile at me, a real weird look. There was no remorse, no tears, . . . but maybe he doesn't know how to cry.

"These kids, they don't understand it: they get angry, they go out and strike out -- they don't think of the consequences."

Ms. Morris' children called Ms. Brown "Aunt Chrissy' because she was a live-in baby-sitter, which is how the two women became fast friends almost 10 years ago. Ms. Brown lived with them on and off overt the years, she said.

"She just loved children," Ms. Morris said.

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