In Maryland Court of Appeals rejects convicted killer's...


January 05, 2002|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Maryland

Court of Appeals rejects convicted killer's appeal

ANNAPOLIS -- In a 4-3 ruling, the Maryland Court of Appeals rejected yesterday a last-ditch appeal by convicted killer Steven Oken to reconsider his case, setting the stage for his execution, possibly within two months.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II said Dec. 18 that he would sign Oken's death warrant after he receives a formal decision, or mandate, from the appeals court this month. Once the warrant is signed, the state sets an execution date within four to eight weeks.

But Fred Bennett, Oken's attorney, said he plans to file papers seeking a final review of the case by the U.S. Supreme Court, which previously rejected Oken's appeal. Oken was convicted in three killings and is on death row for killing a White Marsh woman in 1987.

In Anne Arundel

Man, 38, dies when car strikes tree and overturns

HARWOOD -- A 38-year-old Anne Arundel County man died yesterday after he lost control of his car on a curve on Patuxent River Road in Harwood and crashed, county police said.

The car struck a tree and overturned about noon, police said.

Francis A. Mercilliott 2nd, of the 1500 block of Flanders Lane in Harwood, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. He was not wearing a seatbelt, police said.

In Baltimore City

Suspect escapes police after trip to hospital

A 21-year-old Baltimore man escaped yesterday morning from police custody after being treated for injuries suffered when a stolen car crashed into two police cruisers, city police said.

Donnie Lee Foster Jr. of the 3000 block of Thorndale Ave. is wanted on car theft and assault charges, police said. Foster is accused of plowing a stolen car into two police cars about 2 a.m. in the 1300 block of Cathedral St., police said.

About 10 a.m., after being treated for his injuries at Mercy Medical Center, Foster -- whose hands were cuffed behind him -- ran away from a police officer who was escorting him to a transport van, police said. The officer chased Foster around a corner, but the suspect managed to slip out of the plastic handcuffs and knock the officer down, police said.

Police asked anyone with information on Foster's whereabouts to call 911.

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