Bobo's son is found guilty of stealing $2,000 bike

January 22, 1995|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,Sun Staff Writer

The son of Del. Elizabeth Bobo was convicted last week of stealing a $2,000 racing bicycle.

NTC The felony conviction may jeopardize the future career of Clifford Louis Bobo, 26, a law student who lives in the 9200 block of Winding Way in Ellicott City.

Police arrested Bobo after receiving an anonymous tip. According to court records, he had bragged to friends that his crime had made the police blotter of a local newspaper. Components of the stolen bicycle were found in his home by police; the frame may have been mailed to Italy.

Bobo was found guilty by Carroll County Judge JoAnn Ellinghaus-Jones on Thursday at the conclusion of a one-day trial in Howard County District Court.

Because Ms. Bobo served as Howard County executive from 1986 until 1990, a prosecutor and a judge from Carroll County handled her son's case.

Bobo could not be reached for comment Friday or yesterday. His mother, a Democrat representing Howard County's District 12B, declined to comment Friday.

Bobo was arrested in September 1993 after a three-month police investigation into the theft of a Cannondale bicycle from the roof of a car parked in front of the Giant grocery store in Columbia's Dorsey's Search village.

An anonymous caller told police he had seen Bobo unstrap the 1993 ultralight red bicycle from the roof of the car and bring it to his house, according to court records. The caller also reported seeing Bobo strip the parts from the bicycle and mail the frame to a bicycle dealer in Italy, the records say.

A police search of Bobo's home turned up several components identified by the owner of the stolen bicycle, according to the records. Two of his friends told police that he had bragged about the theft and "was excited" because the crime had been reported in the police log of the Columbia Flier, a weekly newspaper.

Bobo could receive up to 15 years in prison and a $1,000 fine when he is sentenced March 23.

Although the defendant likely will receive probation or a suspended sentence because he is a first-time offender, the prosecutor said he believes the conviction is significant because of his plans for a legal career. Bobo is a second-year law student at the University of Maryland, according to the registrar's office at the school.

"This might disqualify him from practicing law, and it might not," said Shawn Larson, a prosecutor in the Carroll County state's attorney's office. "But I hope that someone that would do this would not be able to practice law at all."

Conviction for a felony does not automatically disqualify someone from obtaining a Maryland law license, but it does make it much more difficult, said Bedford Bentley, secretary to the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners.

"There is nothing in our rules that will automatically disqualify you on the basis of some felony or other action. Every case is judged on its own merits," Mr. Bentley said.

Mr. Bentley said a convicted felon would be "guaranteed" of having to testify in a formal hearing before the board's character committee and likely would have a second hearing before the entire board. The board conducts between eight and 10 hearings a year, he said.

It would be up to the board to make a recommendation to the Court of Appeals on whether a felon has been rehabilitated and should be permitted to obtain a law license.

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