Officer's family appeals Release sought

death threats cited

January 26, 1993|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

The family of a Baltimore police officer charged with murder is appealing for his release from jail while he awaits trial, saying other inmates have made numerous death threats against him.

"He's been getting death threats, he's had trash thrown on him, and he's been spit on. He's living in fear every day," said Connie Kulbicki, 36, the wife of Sgt. James A. Kulbicki. "He's in jail with people that he helped to put in there."

The officer will be in Towson Circuit Court today to appeal his cash bail of $750,000. A Baltimore County judge had previously barred the officer from using his property as collateral to make bail, meaning he must pay $75,000 in cash to be released.

Henry L. Belsky, a city Fraternal Order of Police lawyer who is defending Sergeant Kulbicki, said due to the threats, the officer is being held in "strict protective custody" in an isolated unit at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

In a writ of Habeas Corpus, which orders the court to justify why it is detaining someone, Mr. Belsky wrote "$750,000 cash bail is tantamount to no bail at all and only serves to assist the prosecution by inhibiting Sergeant Kulbicki's ability to defend himself."

He also pointed to the officer's strong community ties to Highlandtown, which include being president of the Parent-Teacher Association at his 8-year-old son's school at Our Lady of Pompei Church and regular attendance at St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church.

The officer, 36, was arrested Jan. 12 and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Gina Marie Nueslein, 22, whose body was found in Gunpowder Falls State Park in eastern Baltimore County. She had been shot in the head.

Ms. Nueslein had previously filed a paternity suit against Sergeant Kulbicki, alleging he was the father of her son, 16-month-old Michael Joseph Nueslein.

Baltimore County police said bullet fragments were found in Sergeant Kulbicki's truck, a tire track apparently from his vehicle was found near the body, and a jacket with blood on the sleeve was found at his home.

Mr. Belsky called the evidence "circumstantial" and heavily dependent on forensic laboratory tests that won't be completed for another four to six weeks.

In the meantime, he said, the officer should be allowed to work on his defense outside the jail.

At an interview yesterday at her Highlandtown home, Mrs. Kulbicki said the family is standing by Sergeant Kulbicki but has no way of coming up with bail money.

She also said the family is financially hard-hit by the ordeal because the officer is suspended without pay.

She said her husband had told her about the paternity suit last summer.

But she added that she believes her husband's contention that he is not the child's father and that he didn't kill Ms. Nueslein.

"For me, I have to be emotionally strong for my husband. I stand right by him. If he tells me he didn't do this, then I believe him," Mrs. Kulbicki said, with her two sons, Daryl, 18, and Allan, 8, sitting beside her.

Sergeant Kulbicki's mother, Florence Kulbicki, 69, said she doesn't believe her son is capable of murder.

"The emotional shock was very great at first, there are no words to describe what a mother feels when she hears something like that," Florence Kulbicki said.

"But when I thought about who he is, what a loving son he is, and what a good family man he is, I thought, 'This whole thing is a fallacy.' "

Connie Kulbicki said she has gotten a lot of support from the community since her husband's arrest and has told him so during her visits to the jail.

"I told him that the amount of people who support him could fill a stadium," she said.

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