Grand jury subpoena is withdrawn

July 30, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

The Westminster man who says he is a suspect in the February shooting death of a Carroll fisherman did not testify before a county grand jury yesterday because prosecutors are seeking to overturn an order requiring his testimony to be recorded.

In court papers, Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III asked for a reversal of the Wednesday order signed by Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns, which allowed a court reporter to record the testimony of Roy Monroe Robertson.

Mr. Walker's filing also said that "the state herewith declines to call" Mr. Robertson before the grand jury this month "until such further time as may be required."

Mr. Robertson had been subpoenaed by prosecutors to testify before the grand jury yesterday. And although neither prosecutors nor police have confirmed that Mr. Robertson is a suspect in the slaying of William Charles Prodoehl, numerous court filings since May by Mr. Robertson make that claim.

Mr. Robertson first said he was a suspect in the killing after claiming that Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman deceitfully obtained his private mental health records from the Springfield Hospital Center.

Mr. Hickman denied using deceit to obtain the records, which he returned to the hospital three days after Mr. Robertson made the allegations.

Mr. Hickman and Mr. Walker could not be reached for comment yesterday, but in a telephone interview Wednesday, Mr. Hickman would neither confirm nor deny that Mr. Robertson would be asked questions before the grand jury about the Prodoehl killing.

Earlier in the week, Judith S. Stainbrook and Stephen P. Bourexis -- Mr. Robertson's attorneys -- sought to bar their client's testimony before the grand jury unless a court reporter were present for the ques

tioning.

4 On Wednesday, Judge Burns granted their request.

Responding to questions about the order Wednesday, Mr. Hickman said it probably wasn't necessary; he said that if either defense attorney had asked his office to record the proceedings, he probably would have complied with their wishes.

"All they had to do was call. We're very open about what we do here," the prosecutor said Wednesday.

Mr. Walker's request to overturn Judge Burns' order was confusing to Ms. Stainbrook in light of Mr. Hickman's comments Wednesday.

"I don't understand the mixed messages we're getting from the state's attorney's office," she said yesterday. She declined to comment further on the case, except to say that she and Mr. Bourexis would oppose a reversal of Judge Burns' order.

So far, Mr. Robertson is the only person who says he is a suspect in the Prodoehl murder, which has been under investigation for more than five months.

Mr. Robertson and Gina Maria Catterton Prodoehl, the victim's wife, found Mr. Prodoehl, 34, lying in the snow beside the Monocacy River in Harney on Feb. 18. He had been shot several times in the head.

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