Regional Digest

Regional Digest

April 02, 2003|By From staff reports

In Harford County

Man, 39, is found guilty in sexual abuse of girl, 12

BEL AIR -- A Harford County man was found guilty yesterday in Circuit Court of child sexual abuse and could receive up to 15 years in prison, the state's attorney's office said.

Michael Gagliano, 39, whose last known address was the 1000 block of Hazel Lane in Bel Air, was found guilty of abusing a 12-year-old girl, a neighbor, from May through August 2001, said State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly. The jury deliberated about four hours, he said.

Deputy State's Attorney Diana Brooks prosecuted the six-day case, Cassilly said. He said Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr. ordered a presentence investigation and continued bail. Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. May 23.

In Maryland

Appeals court sets aside murder convictions of teen

ANNAPOLIS -- A Wicomico County judge should have let a teen-ager charged with killing his father make a self-defense claim that included expert testimony about "battered child syndrome" and evidence of past parental abuse, the state Court of Special Appeals ruled yesterday.

The intermediate appellate court said that jurors should have been allowed to decide whether to accept those claims by Bruno Lorenzo Smullen of Salisury, who was 16 when accused of fatally stabbing his adoptive father, Warren Smullen Jr., in May 2000. The youth was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years for attacking his father and other relatives. The ruling erased first- and second-degree murder convictions, allowing a new trial on those. It upheld convictions in the attacks on three female relatives.

House OKs bill suspending licenses of gasoline thieves

ANNAPOLIS -- Motorists convicted of stealing gasoline from a service station could have their driver's license suspended for a month under a bill given final approval yesterday by the House of Delegates.

The bill matches what was passed by the Senate, which means it will move on to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. His spokesman, Henry Fawell, said the governor's office has taken no position on the bill.

The legislation is intended to discourage teen-agers from stealing gas, which is commonly referred to as a "drive off."

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