Judge denies bail for Givens

'93 murder conviction was voided because of lawyers' mistakes

`Every reason not to show'

New DNA tests could be included in second trial

April 21, 1999|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

Despite pleas from the defense yesterday, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Clayton Greene ordered Albert Givens, whose murder conviction in the killing of an Arnold woman was overturned in February, held without bail to await his new trial.

"There is every reason for him not to show up," Greene said after making his ruling. "There is no bond high enough to bring him back if he gets cold feet."

Givens was convicted in 1993 of bludgeoning and stabbing Marlene Kilpatrick, 55, in her Arnold home Jan. 2, 1992.

Circuit Judge Michael E. Loney granted Givens, 44, a new trial, citing mistakes made by his lawyers. If Givens is convicted, he could face a sentence of life without parole.

Alan Friedman, Anne Arundel County's chief public defender, argued that Givens poses no flight risk and asked Greene to set his bail at $50,000. He told Greene that Givens would be allowed to live with his sister and her family in Pasadena while he waited for a new trial.

"If a family is willing to take him into their home with two children, then that says a lot about the support he has," Friedman said. "And $50,000 is reasonable. There isn't a bondsman on this planet who would let that kind of money go down the drain. They would make sure they produced their client for the trial."

Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Rogers said that because Givens was convicted once and could go to prison for life if convicted again, he has nothing to lose by running away.

She told Greene that the details of the murder are so gruesome that she considers Givens a danger to the community.

"This murder was premeditated and planned," she told the judge. Kilpatrick "was severely beaten over the head with a wrench, dragged through her home and, while she was still alive, stabbed several times. Then, fuel injection cleaner was poured down her throat. If those are not heinous and dangerous acts, I don't know what is."

Givens, who was a handyman for Kilpatrick, has maintained his innocence.

Paul M. Kirby, who represented Givens at his trial, has declined to discuss the case. Timothy D. Murnane was co-counsel but did not take part in Givens' trial because he was trying another case.

The conviction was based mostly on Givens' inconsistent statements to police, on results of a DNA test performed on saliva found on a soda bottle in Kilpatrick's home and on testimony that placed Givens near where the victim's car was found abandoned after her death.

Prosecutors are trying to work out arrangements with the Innocence Project at Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School in New York to perform newer and more sophisticated DNA tests.

Givens wrote to the clinic, which was co-founded by Barry Scheck, the DNA legal expert on O. J. Simpson's defense team, asking for help.

Pub Date: 4/21/99

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