Man charged in death to be moved to state facility for health reasons

April 29, 1999|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A Mount Airy man charged with murder in the shooting of an acquaintance early Saturday was to be transferred today from the Carroll County Detention Center to the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown to receive medical care.

Dennis Brian Absher, 55, of the 4700 block of Roop Road uses a wheelchair and has extensive medical problems that the county jail cannot care for, officials said at a brief hearing yesterday in Carroll County District Court.

Absher is being held without bail and has waived his right to a bail-review hearing.

Judge JoAnn Ellinghaus-Jones granted a request by Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning and jail Warden Mason Waters that Absher be moved to the state prison in Hagerstown, where he can receive full-time medical care. Defense attorney Kenneth D. Man of Baltimore and Deputy State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore agreed.

The medical information about Absher was sealed, and his attorney and county officials declined to elaborate.

Man and Absher also told the judge that he has not been able to use the telephone at the jail to call his family or attorney, and that he needs his glasses.

"His due process is being denied because of his condition," Man said. Tregoning said after the hearing that he was unaware of the problems and would correct them.

Absher is accused of using a shotgun to kill Aaron Hollis Smith, 26, of Beltsville on Saturday. Troopers said they went to Absher's residence after receiving a 1: 55 a.m. call from the home, where they found Smith lying dead in the front doorway.

Absher, whose legs were paralyzed in an automobile accident, was taken to the hospital because he appeared intoxicated, police said.

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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