Man's 20-year drug sentence vacated

March 23, 1995|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has vacated the 20-year prison sentence imposed last year on a Union Bridge man who prosecutors say was a major PCP supplier in Carroll County.

A three-judge panel of the intermediate appellate court said Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. did not keep his end of a plea bargain when he rejected drug treatment for Martin Scott Bloom and opted to impose the 20-year term, including 10 years without parole.

Bloom, who prosecutors said sold PCP twice to an undercover drug officer while he was awaiting trial in another drug case, pleaded guilty to three counts of PCP distribution. As part of Bloom's plea bargain, Judge Beck agreed to commit him to a drug treatment program if the state health department accepted him. The judge would decide his sentence after treatment.

According to the agreement, if Bloom was rejected from treatment, Judge Beck was to sentence him to 45 years in prison -- three consecutive 15-year terms -- with all but 20 years suspended. The first half of that sentence was to have been without parole.

Despite Bloom's acceptance into a treatment program, Judge Beck imposed the no-parole sentence in September.

"The law provides that if a judge, in accepting a plea bargain, promises to do a certain act, and places no conditions on the promise, the judge must fulfill the promise even if he or she later learns facts that would have caused him or her not to have accepted the bargain in the first place," the appellate court wrote.

"Because the applicant fulfilled the condition agreed upon in the plea bargain, the judge was obliged to impose the sanction promised," it stated.

Judge Beck declined yesterday to comment because he must resentence Bloom. The sentencing has not been scheduled.

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