Drug indictment hearing delayed on Arundel school principal Police thought to need time for gathering more evidence

November 14, 1992|By Kris Antonelli and Deidre Nerreau McCabe | Kris Antonelli and Deidre Nerreau McCabe,Staff Writers

Plans to seek an indictment on drug kingpin charges against a Severna Park Elementary School principal Monday have been postponed, sources close to the investigation said yesterday.

The sources, who asked not to be identified, suggested the grand jury review of the case of Patricia A. Emory, the LTC 45-year-old principal charged with being a key player in an international drug ring, was delayed to give police time to gather additional evidence.

It could not be determined whether cases against her husband, James M. Emory Sr., and eight others also charged in Anne Arundel County's largest marijuana bust would go before the grand jury Monday or be postponed.

But attorney Timothy Murnane, representing Linda and Roger Emory -- Patricia Emory's brother- and sister-in-law -- said it is in the best interest of the police to have the cases heard as quickly as possible. Monday is the first grand jury to sit since the Oct. 29 arrests.

As of late yesterday afternoon, Mr. Murnane said he thought that his clients' cases would be reviewed Monday.

He added that grand jury proceedings are secret, and he would not necessarily know of a postponement.

A preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to hold his clients for trial has been scheduled for next Friday, he said. But they lose their right to the hearing if they are indicted before that.

State's Attorney Frank Weathersbee would not comment on the case or grand jury proceedings, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Emory said she believes the postponement in her case is one more indication of her innocence.

"I think it's been postponed because they [the police] don't have anything," Mrs. Emory said.

She and her attorneys, E. Thomas Maxwell and Ann F. Hurlock,have waged an aggressive publicity campaign to clear her name. In addition, Mrs. Emory has paid for and taken a lie detector test that her lawyers said indicated she was telling the truth when questioned about her involvement.

The case against Mrs. Emory, a career educator with a doctorate in education, has sparked national interest, with several talk show hosts -- including Sally Jessy Raphael and Oprah Winfrey -- vying for an appearance.

Charges against all 10 defendants were brought after the extensive drug sweep, in which police raided 16 locations in Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Harford counties. Police confiscated 800 pounds of marijuana and seized $320,000.

Police say they have evidence linking Mrs. Emory to the drug ring and reports that known drug dealers frequently visited the Emorys' $437,000 house on Villa Isle Drive.

But Mr. Maxwell said he is not aware of any evidence that links his client to the drug ring, which police said has ties to several states and Mexico.

All the defendants but Mrs. Emory and her sister-in-law have been held without bail in the county detention center. Yesterday, a Circuit Court judge refused a request to set bail for Phillip B. Dulaney, 48, another suspect charged as a drug kingpin.

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