Bail lowered for suspect in drug killing District judge sets bond at $100,000

February 02, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

A District Court judge set $100,000 bail yesterday for Daniel Justin Leonard, one of three men charged in the shooting death of a Westminster man last week.

Mr. Leonard, 23, of the 600 block of Hammershire Road in Owings Mills, was charged with felony murder as an accessory before and after the fact, and assault and battery in the killing of Gregory Lamont Howard, 22, in the 100 block of S. Center St. on Thursday night. Police said the shooting occurred as the result of a dispute over drugs.

The defendant was held without bail over the weekend after he requested time to hire an attorney. He was still in the county Detention Center late last night.

Mr. Leonard sobbed uncontrollably during the brief hearing, which was attended by family and friends of both the victim and the defendant. He did not speak.

Defense attorney Charles L. Waechter asked Judge Joann Ellinghaus-Jones yesterday to reduce bail to $100,000. He contended that the defendant was not an active participant in the shooting, has no criminal record, has been steadily employed and has lived his entire life in the Owings Mills home of his parents, who were in the courtroom.

Prosecutor Kathi Hill requested a $200,000 bond for Mr. Leonard. She said it was his shotgun that killed Mr. Howard, and said the suspects -- who all live in Baltimore County -- had come to Westminster in Mr. Leonard's car.

The judge noted that almost everyone in the courthouse knows the victim's mother, state probation officer Patricia Winfield, whose office is in the courthouse basement.

"We live in a small town and this is a big-town thing," the judge said.

Bail hearings are still pending for the other suspects, Samuel Allen Miller, 22, of the 300 block of Stonecastle Ave. in Owings Mills, and Timothy Cumberland, 23, of Bentley Park Lane in Reisterstown.

Mr. Miller was arrested with Mr. Leonard early Friday. Mr. Cumberland surrendered Saturday night.

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