Conviction upheld against ex-hopeful for Howard sheriff

February 14, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Maryland's highest court upheld the conviction yesterday of a former Howard County sheriff's candidate who was found guilty of two charges of possessing explosives after investigators discovered what appeared to be military explosives, grenades and ammunition in his Ellicott City home in July 2000.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that because ownership of Richmond C. Laney's home in the 3600 block of Fels Lane had been passed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs through foreclosure, Laney had "no reasonable expectation of privacy." Therefore, the court said, a search authorized by an agency representative was legal.

Laney, 47, a Republican candidate for sheriff in 1990 and 1994 and former Army reservist, was in the Howard County Detention Center at the time of the search, serving time for a child-support-related conviction that was later overturned. He was found guilty of possessing an explosive device without a license and of unlawfully possessing a destructive device, and was sentenced to the 13 months he served in jail awaiting trial.

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