Flying in Marine for trial costs county $1,400Marine Lance...

April 30, 1996

Flying in Marine for trial costs county $1,400

Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Brooks probably knew a career in the armed forces could mean traveling to combat in foreign lands. But yesterday, the 20-year-old had to return to the United States to resolve a conflict.

The Howard County state's attorney's office paid $1,400 to fly Corporal Brooks from his station in Japan to testify at a trial stemming from a September 1995 Ellicott City assault in which his nose was broken and his jaw was cracked.

Ellicott City resident Robert Wheeler, 19, was convicted of assault and battery, but he was acquitted of assault with intent to maim. He could be sentenced to probation or up to six months in prison, Assistant State's Attorney Michael Weal said.

State's Attorney Marna McLendon said it is the county's policy to pay for out-of-state witnesses to travel for testimony. She said attempts to work out transport with the Marines for Corporal Brooks -- who is from Woodlawn -- were unsuccessful.

"You can't get to much" farther than Japan, she said. "This is unusual."

Police log

Ellicott City: 8400 block of U.S. 40: A red 1991 Nissan 300ZX was stolen from a lot at the Saturn dealership Friday.

Pub Date: 4/30/96

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