Peca theft trial postponed is rescheduled for Nov. 5

September 23, 1997|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

The trial of convicted car thief Christopher J. Peca was postponed yesterday after his attorney asked for more time because of additional charges against his client.

J. Bernard McClellan also told Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure that choosing a jury would be difficult because of an extensive article about Peca, 21, that appeared in The Sun yesterday.

The trial was rescheduled Nov. 5.

Peca, who was released from prison on parole in December, after serving about two years for car theft, faces a total of 33 charges in Howard County Circuit Court. He was to have stood trial yesterday on 30 of those charges, stemming from allegations he stole three men's credit cards and purchased sporting goods, gas and jewelry; and stole a Chevy blazer that he then set on fire.

His attorney wanted more time to prepare for a separate car theft case in which Peca was indicted this month.

The alleged offenses took place while Peca was out on parole. Last June, Peca's parole officer tried to have Peca's parole revoked because of his new tangles with the law. Parole commissioners detained Peca for about a month, but they released him after reviewing the case, parole officials said. Peca was charged in the latest car theft case after he was released.

Two years ago, Peca was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role as the former leader of a Columbia gang known as the "Low Riders," which stole over 20 cars.

He appeared in court yesterday in a crisp white shirt and leg chains. He is being held at Howard County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.

Pub Date: 9/23/97

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