Prisoner is last-minute witness Trial start delayed in murder case

January 31, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

After impaneling a jury tomorrow in the capital murder case against Michael C. Bryson Sr., Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. will postpone the trial until Feb. 16 so that last-minute prosecution witnesses can be interviewed by defense attorneys.

Carroll Circuit Court records show that chief among those new witnesses is David Teddy Yoswick, a 25-year-old Baltimore County man who was convicted last summer of attempted first-degree murder and kidnapping in the abduction and stabbing of a Baltimore businessman last Feb. 25 near Sykesville.

An order filed Friday by Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. says that Yoswick will be interviewed by Mr. Bryson's attorneys at the Carroll County Detention Center on Tuesday.

Mr. Bryson, 26, is charged with first-degree murder and other offenses in the shotgun killing last March 25 of Deep Run Hardware Store owner Charles W. Therit. The slaying was Carroll's only homicide in 1992.

The nature of the information Yoswick provided to prosecutors is unknown, but a request to have him transported from the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup says that he "has provided material evidence in the case." The request is in in Yoswick's court file in Westminster.

Since Yoswick talked to prosecutors, the request said, "two other inmates at the Carroll County Detention Center have made revelations of material evidence." Those inmates were not named in the request.

Yoswick awaited his trial last August in the county detention center. Mr. Bryson, who was arrested in the Melrose slaying last April, was in the detention center until Jan. 7 this year, when he was transferred to Anne Arundel County for his trial.

While both men were in the Carroll detention center at the same time, it was unclear Friday whether they were ever cell mates.

Mr. Bryson's defense attorneys, Richard O'Connor and Ronald Hoog, of Ellicott City, and Yoswick's attorney, Linda Sorg Ostovitz, also of Ellicott City, could not be reached for comment.

Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman declined to comment Friday on the connection between Yoswick and Mr. Bryson.

Yoswick, of Overlea, is serving 40 years in state prison. He pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and kidnapping the abduction of Frank Allen Storch, a private detective and real estate management company president who was left for dead along a creek near Sykesville. Mr. Storch is a friend of Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

In exchange for the guilty pleas, Yoswick was sentenced Aug. 31 Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. to life in prison on the attempted murder charge and was given a 30-year sentence on the kidnapping conviction.

Judge Burns suspended all but 40 years of the life sentence, which is being served concurrently with the kidnapping sentence.

Yoswick's co-defendant, Karen Sue Pulido, is serving a 25-year sentence in state prison.

Yoswick, according to Carroll Circuit Court papers, also has asked Judge Burns to reduce his sentence. In a letter to the judge Jan. 12, Yoswick wrote, "My mother always told me that it is OK to make a mistake.

"I believe that if you make a mistake, no matter how little or serious, that you deserve a second chance to prove to yourself and to others that you have learned from your past experience and to go on being a civilized, productive citizen."

Judge Duckett, who has been presiding over jury selection in Mr. Bryson's case since Jan. 7, said Friday that he will impanel the trial jury and five alternates tomorrow before postponing the case until Feb. 16.

"We've been here all these weeks, and I'm pleased with the quality of the jury we're going to have," the judge said of the 60 or so people still eligible to be chosen for the six-week trial.

"But I think they'd all be more than a little upset if we had them all sit around until Feb. 16," the judge said.

Mr. Bryson's case was moved because his attorneys said he could not receive a fair trial in Carroll County. As in all death penalty cases in Maryland, such a request must be honored.

The case marks the third time Mr. Hickman has sought the death penalty.

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