Court upholds officer's conviction for misconduct in beating of man

March 29, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Three judges of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals upheld yesterday the conviction of city police Officer Christopher M. Bielecki, who was convicted of misconduct in office stemming from the beating of a Northeast Baltimore man.

Bielecki, a four-year veteran, was given a three-year suspended sentence and three years' probation in April for his role in injuring Donte Armwood, 20, in October 1999.

Officers had told Armwood to move along, and police said Armwood responded by putting up his middle finger, a gesture he denied making. Armwood said he was then beaten.

Bielecki's police powers have been suspended, and he works in central booking, police said.

The city Circuit Court jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on an assault charge. Bielecki is scheduled to be retried on that charge May 31. He is also facing departmental charges.

In a 45-page ruling, the panel of judges wrote that it found no merit to the complaints about the trial raised by Bielecki.

Bielecki's lawyer, Michelle M. Martz-Bowles, had not seen the ruling. "We will review the matter, and we will decide on our next course of action," she said. "We are still committed to clearing his name."

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