City bounty hunters charged in invasion of Ellicott City home

Grand jury indicts two

defense lawyer says they `were just doing their job'

March 28, 2002|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

Two Baltimore bounty hunters were indicted yesterday on charges related to the alleged invasion of an Ellicott City home in December.

The Howard County grand jury indicted Darnell Anthony Brown, 29, and Everett Ambush Chambers, 26, on charges of armed robbery, robbery, theft, second-degree assault and impersonating a police officer.

Deputy State's Attorney I. Matthew Campbell said the case against the bounty hunters is unusual. Bond industry experts have said that prosecutors sometimes hesitate to bring charges against bail bondsmen and their employees because they are thought to be widely exempt from the law.

Chambers and Brown, both employees of Baltimore-based Prestige Bail Bonds, said they were recovering bail jumpers at an apartment on Town & Country Boulevard on Dec. 19.

While at the apartment, the two ate food, watched television and stayed until 2:40 a.m. without permission before leaving with one of the female residents, whom they later dropped off outside a police station in Catonsville, according to charging documents.

The five residents, who do not speak English, told police that the bounty hunters stole about $500 from them and that Chambers and Brown pointed handguns at them during the incident.

"They were just doing their job," defense lawyer Kenneth S. Ward said yesterday. Ward said he has represented bounty hunters and bail bondsmen in the past, though normally in civil proceedings.

Ward called the indictments "expected" and said he had been preparing for trial since March 5, when a probable-cause hearing was held in Howard County District Court.

Brown was released on $100,000 bond, and Chambers was released on $50,000 bond. Both were ordered to stay away from the five Howard County residents.

The two still work for Prestige Bail Bonds, but Ward said they are no longer pursuing bail jumpers.

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