Defense says prosecutor threatened alleged victim

April 16, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A defense attorney accused Carroll's top sex-crimes prosecutor of misconduct yesterday, saying Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill threatened an alleged battery victim with jail if she refused to testify.

Ms. Hill denied the allegation, made yesterday afternoon by Baltimore County attorney Jeffrey H. Gray during a motion to dismiss battery charges against his client.

"This is an allegation of prosecutorial misconduct, and it is outrageous," she told Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold. "This is completely false."

The judge denied Mr. Gray's motion.

Mr. Gray represents Ernie Reed, 25, of the first block of Pennsylvania Ave., Westminster. He was charged with battery Sept. 19 after allegedly hitting his girlfriend, Tammy Manahan, in the head and throwing her against the wall.

He will be tried by a jury today.

In his dismissal motion yesterday, Mr. Gray said that Ms. Manahan, who has reconciled with Mr. Reed, recanted her story and was reluctant to testify against her boyfriend.

"Even though she has recanted her story several times, she was told by Ms. Hill that she has to testify," Mr. Gray said. "She was told by Ms. Hill, 'Unless you take the stand, you're going to jail.' "

Mr. Gray said that Ms. Manahan was not beaten by Mr. Reed, and that she made up the story to please her mother. The couple was arguing, and Ms. Manahan's mother refused to help unless charges were filed against Mr. Reed, Mr. Gray said.

Judge Arnold, who rarely expresses emotion at the bench, seemed annoyed. After the judge denied the motion, Mr. Gray asked that his client be tried by a jury. Judge Arnold became angrier.

"If your client wants a jury trial, be here at 10 o'clock. The trial has begun now, and I am bounding it over until tomorrow," he said yesterday. "If you have any problems or conflicts with that, postpone them."

A jury trial request usually means a delay of several weeks in Carroll.

Mr. Gray said before Judge Arnold's ruling that even if his client were to go to trial, Ms. Manahan would recant her story, making it impossible to prove the crime.

But he said that Ms. Hill, who primarily prosecutes sex crimes, may have exerted enough pressure on Ms. Manahan to stick to her original story. Either way, he said, his client would be unfairly treated.

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