Bail denied for woman charged with hit-man hire

Judge asks for report on Raras' medical status

August 27, 1999|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Attorneys representing a Parkville woman accused of hiring a hit man to kill her daughter-in-law argued unsuccessfully yesterday that she should be freed from jail and detained at home.

During a bail review hearing, Howard County District Court Judge Louis Becker continued the no-bail status of Emilia Raras, 63, who will remain at the Howard County Detention Center.

Becker also asked officials to determine what effects incarceration could have on Raras' medical conditions. Her lawyers, Carol James and Clarke Ahlers, said Raras, who has been at the detention center since Wednesday, suffers from heart disease and diabetes.

Police charged Raras on Tuesday afternoon with solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They say in charging documents that she hired Ardale D. Tickles, 19, of Baltimore to kill Sara J. Williamson Raras, 35, at her home in the 6600 block of Meadowfield Court in Elkridge.

Police discovered the victim Nov. 15, 1998, with her throat slit and several stab wounds.

Police charged Tickles with first-degree murder Tuesday morning. He has been in the Baltimore County Detention Center since April on charges of attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery in a January robbery at a McDonald's on Loch Raven Boulevard.

Raras' attorneys argued she should be presumed innocent and that the state's case appears to be based largely on Tickles' account of the events.

In June, officials wired an informant and taped Tickles talking about committing the crime and stating that he was hired by an "Oriental" woman, court documents state.

Raras' lawyers recommended $20,000 bail.

The state is "relying on the word of a `brutal' murderer," said her lawyer, Ahlers, referring to a state prosecutor's characterization of the crime. "Mrs. Raras has no kind of criminal record. She is of course willing to surrender her passport."

But state prosecutor Mary Murphy argued that Raras has a "very high" probability of fleeing, noting her ties to the Philippines, her native country.

Friends told police Sara Raras was embroiled in a bitter divorce from her husband, Lorenzo D. Raras, according to charging documents. The couple's 1-year-old son "held great significance" to the mother-in-law, the documents also said.

Police say they have not established a motive for the killing.

In other developments, police now say they believe that Tickles was paid $3,000. In court documents, they said he was paid $5,000.

Police said during the taped conversations, Tickles talked about receiving $5,000.

"What our detectives have come up with is it was actually $3,000," said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a county police spokesman.

Pub Date: 8/27/99

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