Carroll drug suspect has her day -- in two courts Preparing for trial, she is arrested again

November 25, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Pamela S. Davis finally had her day in court yesterday.

But it wasn't the kind of day she had been hoping for since May, when Carroll's Drug Task Force raided her farm and accused her of dealing drugs.

Ms. Davis, 47, who was scheduled to spend the day defending herself against a four-count narcotics indictment, instead spent her time getting out of jail on new charges and watching a Carroll Circuit judge postpone her jury trial on the May charges.

The Carroll County Narcotics Task Force arrested Ms. Davis Monday after raiding Liberation, her counter-culture clothing store in Westminster, earlier in the day.

Task force officers seized several pounds of marijuana seeds and more than $1,000 in cash in the Monday raid, which resulted in a new round of drug distribution and possession charges, and a night in the county detention center without bail for Ms. Davis.

Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III, who heads the task force, said Monday that the timing of the raid -- less than 24 hours before yesterday's trial -- was purely coincidental, and predicted that it "would have no effect" on the trial.

The marijuana seeds, kept in a fishbowl on a counter in Ms. Davis' store, were free for the asking.

According to documents introduced in court, Ms. Davis purchased 50 pounds of marijuana seeds, which she believed were sterilized, from an Ohio company in August. The seeds had been displayed since then.

As a jury pool waited for hours yesterday in an empty courtroom, Ms. Davis asked District Judge Joann Ellinghaus-Jones to set bail in the new case.

Mr. Walker argued against bail, saying Ms. Davis already was free on a form of bail on the May charges. He cited a state statute that requires no bond in cases where a defendant is rearrested for drug charges while that defendant is free on bail on previous drug charges.

Ms. Davis' previous drug charges stemmed from the May 7 raid of her farm, in which task force officers, disguised as United Parcel Service delivery men, brought a package containing 1.5 ounces of marijuana addressed to Terrapin Station, the name of her farm.

After a woman at the house signed for the package, the task force moved in and seized about half the marijuana they had just delivered, plus about an ounce of marijuana that was found in a night stand.

Mr. Walker told Judge Ellinghaus-Jones, "She is not eligible for bond. She is a defendant in another case. The seeds we seized were viable, the case was investigated thoroughly and we think she may be a danger to the community. Lord knows who buys those seeds. Children may even be buying them."

The statute Mr. Walker cited was not relevant to this case, said Stephen P. Bourexis, who represented Ms. Davis for her bail review hearing.

Mr. Bourexis said that Mr. Walker knew Ms. Davis' previous charges were served by a summons, and that Ms. Davis was neither required to post bond nor appear before a District Court commissioner.

"That's outrageous for a prosecutor to knowingly misrepresent information to the court," Mr. Bourexis said after the hearing, in which Ms. Davis' bail was set at $15,000. "In this case, it simply shows the retaliatory attitude toward Ms. Davis."

Mr. Walker said that Mr. Bourexis' argument was not accurate, and that he believes that by signing the summons Ms. Davis was, in effect, released on her own recognizance.

After the hearing with Judge Ellinghaus-Jones, Ms. Davis was led across the street to the Old County Courthouse, where she requested a postponment of her jury trial in front of Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold.

Judge Arnold granted the postponement after saying that Judge Ellinghaus-Jones had made a phone call, in which she told him Ms. Davis was not fit to defend herself in the jury trial.

After the postponement was granted, Ms. Davis was handcuffed and escorted back to the county detention center in a sheriff's cruiser. From there, she was brought -- again in handcuffs -- before a District Court commissioner.

As she waited for the commissioner to see her, she pointed to bruises on her wrists under the handcuffs. She complained of not getting any sleep Monday night, of not having anything to eat since Sunday and of a mild case of nicotine withdrawal.

"A lot of how I feel now is because of not having any cigarettes," she said with a slight laugh. "I'll tell you, these legal drugs are devastating."

She talked about how the Monday raid and arrest -- in the hallway of the County Courthouse Annex -- devastated her.

Supervising Commissioner Heather B. Bader accepted a $1,500 surety bond -- 10 percent of Ms. Davis' $15,000 bail -- which the defendant paid in $10 and $20 bills.

Moments later, as she sat outside on the steps, smoking a cigarette, Ms. Davis shook her head and began to cry.

"Everything I believe in and love about this country is crumbling right in front of me," she said.

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