Charges grow against man held in officer's road death

20 new counts include homicide, manslaughter

January 29, 2002|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County grand jury added 20 charges yesterday, including homicide and manslaughter, to those already filed against a Middle River man accused of drunken driving in the death of a county police officer.

The jury charged Cesar Humberto Meza, 41, of the 9900 block of Tailspin Lane with one count of manslaughter by automobile and two counts of homicide in the death of Sgt. Mark F. Parry, county police said.

Meza was indicted for homicide while under the influence and homicide while impaired by alcohol.

Meza remains in the Baltimore County Detention Center in lieu of $500,000 bond. He is accused of steering his sport utility vehicle into Parry's unmarked patrol car Dec. 27 and fleeing the scene.

In addition to manslaughter and homicide, Meza now faces charges that include driving under the influence, driving while impaired, driving with a revoked license, three counts of hit-and-run involving death, three counts of hit-and-run involving bodily injury.

Also, causing life-threatening injuries while under the influence, causing life-threatening injuries while impaired, three counts of making false statements to police officers, failure to yield the right of way on a left-hand turn, driving while under the influence per se and driving while suspended for failure to appear in court.

County police yesterday welcomed the additional charges.

"We're gratified to see the progress made by the state's attorney's office," said Bill Toohey, county police spokesman.

The state's attorney's office could not be reached for comment.

Parry, 42, of Bel Air was on patrol about 11:30 p.m. on East Joppa Road near Pleasant Plains Road when a sport utility vehicle turned in front of his unmarked car.

Parry, a 16-year veteran, suffered several broken bones and severe head injuries and had to be cut from his Crown Victoria cruiser before he could be taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said.

The father of three died Jan. 21 from the injuries and was buried Friday in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.

Police said they found Meza sitting on a bench about a half-mile from the accident and initially charged him with six counts: causing a life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while intoxicated; making a false statement; driving under the influence; failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving injury; driving while his license was revoked; and assuming the identification of another person to avoid prosecution.

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