Officials clear up mystery of those 3 Kevin Wilsons

November 07, 1992|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Staff Writer

The saga of the three Kevin Wilsons appeared to come to an end yesterday at the Howard County courthouse.

After learning that a drug defendant, Kevin J. Wilson of Baltimore -- the first Kevin Wilson -- has been out on bond, the Howard County state's attorney's office dropped a detainer against two Kevin Wilsons held in the Baltimore City Detention Center. (A detainer is used to keep jails from releasing people who are wanted in connection with other charges.)

However, the second and third Kevin Wilsons remain in the Baltimore jail. The second will probably continue to serve time on an unrelated misdemeanor charge, said his attorney, Thomas K. Swisher. The third says he is not wanted on any other charges and could be freed.

"He's probably [been] harmed the most," Mr. Swisher said of the third Kevin Wilson.

The tale of mistaken identities has played like a cross between the TV game show "Let's Make A Deal," and Franz Kafka's "The Trial."

Since spring, two Circuit Court hearings have been held on a Howard County drug case against Kevin J. Wilson. Two men named Kevin Wilson appeared at court hearings, but neither was the right Kevin Wilson.

"What a mess!" said Assistant State's Attorney Bernard L. Taylor, who has handled the case.

It all began in May when a Howard grand jury indicted Kevin J. Wilson, 24, of the 100 block of Bridge Drive, Baltimore, charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, an opiate substitute. At the time, Kevin J. Wilson was thought to be held in the Baltimore jail.

When it came time for arraignment in June, Baltimore jail officials sent the wrong (second) Kevin Wilson, age 30, to the Howard courthouse. Then, at a hearing in October, the third Kevin Wilson appeared.

No one seems quite sure what went wrong. Mr. Taylor suspects that when he filed a detainer to hold Kevin J. Wilson, the defendant had already been released on bond.

When asked to provide the defendant for hearings, city jail authorities "found any Kevin Wilson who was there," Mr. Taylor said.

As for Kevin J. Wilson, the real defendant? He has already pleaded guilty to identical charges in the drug case in Baltimore and is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 1, Mr. Taylor said.

Mr. Taylor said he will drop the Howard drug charges after Wilson is sentenced in Baltimore.

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