Bail set at $250,000 for suspect in slaying of Westminster man

February 12, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Carroll District Judge Donald M. Smith yesterday set bail at $250,000 for the third man charged in the Jan. 28 killing of a Westminster man.

Timothy Cumberland, 23, of Reisterstown, surrendered at a Baltimore County police station on Jan. 30 after he learned that Westminster police were looking for him in connection with the shooting of Gregory Lamont Howard, 22, of Old Manchester Road.

The killing, Carroll's only homicide since a Melrose hardware store owner was shot March 25, occurred in the 100 block of S. Center St. before 11:30 p.m.

Defense attorney Michael D. Montemarano argued for a maximum bail of $50,000, saying that his client wasn't the man who owned or fired the gun used in the killing and that any higher amount was tantamount to no bail.

In setting the bail, Judge Smith referred to Mr. Cumberland's juvenile and adult records, which include a drug conviction, a burglary conviction and an escape from the Charles W. Hickey School when he was 17.

"The defendant's prior experience with the criminal justice system does not commend him as one who is about to walk the straight and narrow, especially now that he has been charged with what some would consider the ultimate crime," the judge said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 26, but prosecutors are expected to ask a county grand jury to hand down indictments for all three defendants in the case on Feb. 25. An indictment would cancel the preliminary hearing and transfer the case to Carroll Circuit Court.

Mr. Cumberland faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, manslaughter, conspiracy to commit murder and reckless endangerment. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Shortly after the killing, Baltimore County police arrested Samuel Allen Miller, 22, of Owings Mills, and Daniel Justin Leonard, 23, of Reisterstown.

Mr. Leonard, released on $100,000 bail last week, has been charged with felony murder by being an accessory before and after the fact, and with assault and battery.

Judge Smith last week denied bail for Mr. Miller, who, police believe, fired the shot that killed Mr. Howard. He was charged with murder in the first and second degree, manslaughter, reckless endangerment by discharging a shotgun and assault and battery.

According to police, the three defendants went to South Center Street to buy cocaine and purchased what they thought to be cocaine for $40. After driving away, police said, the three discovered that they had been sold laundry detergent. They drove back, looking for the person who sold them the bogus crack.

L Mr. Howard walked toward the car, police said, and was shot.

He was not involved in that drug transaction, authorities said.

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