Judge orders detective to do 25 push-ups

August 30, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge ordered a police detective to do 25 push-ups yesterday as punishment for the state's failing to turn over evidence in a timely manner. A defense lawyer intervened to cut short the courtroom calisthenics.

Following an order of Judge John N. Prevas, Detective Michael Baier took off his gun and badge and completed one push-up, defense lawyer Ronald I. Kurland said.

"I said to the judge, `This really isn't necessary,'" Kurland said last night. "Judge Prevas said, `Officer, stand up. Mr. Kurland has granted you a reprieve."

The order was given during pretrial motions in the case of Nehemiah Johnson, who is charged with attempted murder. Baier was a police witness.

Prevas, who could not be reached for comment last night, was apparently angered over a gunshot laboratory report that Assistant State's Attorney Twila Driggins had not turned over to the defense, as required by law.

According to the prosecutor's office, Driggins had gotten the report that morning because of a delay at the police lab and had not yet given it to Kurland.

Gary McLhinney, president of the city's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3, said what happened was "outrageous."

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