Man jailed in spitting incident is free

January 29, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A man sentenced in August to six years in prison for spitting on a Glen Burnie merchant has been ordered released by a three-judge panel that reviewed the sentence.

Jeffery Bernard Anderson, 31, of the 600 block of Ross Drive in Pasadena was sentenced by Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth to a six-year term for spitting on the manager of the Sunset restaurant in Glen Burnie.

But on Wednesday, Circuit Court Judges Martin A. Wolff, Warren B. Duckett Jr. and James C. Cawood Jr. ordered that Mr. Anderson be released and placed on probation with "intensive supervision."

A jury convicted Mr. Anderson last July of trespass and assault stemming from an incident at the Sunset, in the 600 block of Greenway S.E., on Oct. 21, 1991.

Michael Fratantuono, the Sunset's manager, caught Mr. Anderson and an acquaintance drinking behind the restaurant at about 8 p.m. and ordered them off the premises.

When they returned two hours later and tried to buy beer, Mr. Fratantuono refused and ordered them to leave. The men argued and Mr. Anderson spit in Mr. Fratantuono's face.

Mr. Anderson was sentenced Aug. 19, 1992.

Len Sipes, a spokesman for the Maryland Division of Corrections, said that it costs an average of $46 per day to incarcerate an inmate. Costs at the county jail are $55 per day.

That means the five months and one week Mr. Anderson has spent in the Roxbury Correctional Institution, plus three months in the county jail before sentencing, cost taxpayers at least $12,300.

Judge Rushworth, who was unavailable yesterday, imposed the original sentence because he was angered by Mr. Anderson's reluctance to seek work and his string of petty offenses. The judge said his offenses and series of short jail sentences amounted to serving a life in jail "30 days at a time."

Assistant Public Defender Robert H. Waldman, who represented Anderson, objected to the length of the term, filing post-trial motions that called the sentence outrageous and illegal. "People who kill people by way of motor vehicle get sentences less severe than this sentence," he said in one motion.

Mr. Waldman said Mr. Anderson will remain at Roxbury for at least a few days so that he can arrange for in-patient therapy through University Hospital for Mr. Anderson's alcohol and mental problems.

He conceded that his client has a record of convictions for battery, malicious destruction of property and other offenses, but said none of the charges was serious. He asked for the review because the six years exceeded sentencing guidelines, which recommended a term between three months and two years.

According to court records, Mr. Anderson was diagnosed five years ago as having schizophrenia, and has had repeated problems with drugs and alcohol.

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