Police said to be probing whether major asked prosecutor to stop warrant

Officer accused of trying to help his pastor's son

December 06, 2003|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore police major is under internal investigation on allegations that he urged a prosecutor to recall an arrest warrant for the son of his pastor, according to sources familiar with the case.

The major, Stephen Davis of the Northeastern District, declined to comment this week. But last month, the commander said he did nothing more than orchestrate the surrender of the suspect.

Police sources and others familiar with the investigation say internal affairs detectives are examining whether Davis, a 15-year veteran, improperly approached a prosecutor last month and asked her to recall the warrant for Kenneth L. Barney Jr., 32, of the 3000 block of Druid Park Lake Drive.

Davis told the prosecutor, Barbara Richmond, that information in the warrant was incorrect and asked her to recall it, sources said. She referred the commander to someone else in her office, the sources said.

Richmond, who works in the state's attorney's office in the Maryland District Courthouse in Northwest Baltimore, declined to comment.

Barney's girlfriend, Kantria L. Curry, 26, filed domestic assault charges against Barney on Nov. 3 after an incident at her house in West Baltimore that day, according to Curry and her statements in court records.

She accused Barney in charging documents of breaking into her house and holding a razor blade inches from her neck as he yelled at her.

Curry said that officers in the Western Police District tried to serve the warrant on Barney but could not find him.

Barney's father, the Rev. Kenneth L. Barney Sr. of the New Antioch Baptist Church of Randallstown, said he then turned to Davis, a member of New Antioch.

The pastor said yesterday that he asked Davis for advice about dealing with the situation and that the commander told him to follow proper procedures.

"He told me to contact the precinct, and whatever the law required, I would have to abide by," Kenneth Barney Sr. said.

On Nov. 5, two days after Curry filed the charges, Barney surrendered to Davis, police said. Barney has a hearing scheduled in the case for Jan. 2.

Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the city state's attorney's office, said prosecutors were cooperating with police investigators.

"The matter is under investigation by internal affairs, and the state's attorney's office is cooperating with it," Burns said, declining to comment further.

Curry said she has been interviewed by internal affairs detectives and is upset that Davis got involved in the case. She has taken out protective orders against Barney in Baltimore and Baltimore County. Barney has been charged with violating the terms of the protective order in Baltimore County, court records show. He has also taken out protective orders against Curry.

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