Bail review delayed for woman accused of taking son in 1990 Sharon E. Wimperis, 50, charged with taking boy after losing custody fight

August 26, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Homecoming for a former Finksburg woman accused of abducting her 5-year-old son after losing a 1990 custody battle was worse than even she could have imagined.

Yesterday, as Sharon E. Wimperis, 50, was escorted into District Court for a bail review hearing wearing a black-and-white striped jail jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles, her mother didn't recognize her.

Dorothy Quigley of Towson, the defendant's mother, was nearly in tears, describing the first glimpse of her daughter in more than eight years.

"She didn't show any sign that she recognized me, and I didn't even realize it was her," Quigley said.

Wimperis disappeared with her son Adam, now 13, in June 1990 after losing custody in Carroll County Circuit Court, and was missing until Aug. 5, when FBI agents arrested her without incident at her apartment in Belleville, Mich., near Detroit.

The boy has been returned to the custody of his father, William J. Wimperis of Finksburg.

A federal warrant charged Sharon Wimperis with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Such a charge is typically dropped once a person has been arrested and turned over to local authorities for prosecution, said Peter A. Gulotta Jr., an FBI spokesman in Baltimore.

Prosecutor Tracy A. Gilmore, deputy state's attorney for Carroll County, said she would look into having Wimperis prosecuted on the federal charge, but could not predict if that could be done.

Gilmore is concerned with clarifying the state's charges against Wimperis.

One charge, harboring a child by a noncustodial parent for more than 30 days outside the state, is a felony, carrying a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, she said.

The second charge, harboring a child by a noncustodial parent within the state, is a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a fine of $250, she said.

Wimperis appeared before District Judge Marc G. Rasinsky for bail review twice yesterday.

In the morning docket, Gilmore requested a postponment so William Wimperis could attend.

The request was granted, but Sharon Wimperis returned yesterday afternoon and requested a postponment until her attorney could be present.

The judge granted the request, resetting her bail review for today, provided that her attorney, E. Thomas Maxwell, can be present.

Wimperis gave a tiny smile, flashed in the direction of her mother and Brenda Cook, a longtime friend, as she was led from the courtroom.

She appeared nervous, but much less so than Monday night when, seated before a District Court commissioner, she was unable to recall her most recent address in Michigan or her former address in Finksburg.

She said she was self-employed, finding work as a caretaker.

She said she did not know if she was still married, apparently unaware that her former husband obtained a divorce in February 1994.

Pub Date: 8/26/98

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