But my best friends just call me Mr. X

BETWEEN THE LINES

April 04, 2005

Evidently Texas justice doesn't fly too well in at least one federal courtroom in Maryland.

U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis took testimony in Baltimore on Friday afternoon from two Houston lawyers at the sentencing hearing for Antony J. Marcantoni.

Marcantoni, 24, already pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy, racketeering and identity fraud. The Baltimore man was arrested in Texas in 2002 when police found his Pontiac packed with 146 pounds of pot, according to court documents.

But when he was booked, Marcantoni gave the police a fake I.D. (He said the police assumed he was the same guy on the driver's license; the police said he confirmed he was the man in the I.D.). Later the feds charged him with lying about who he was.

His original lawyers from Texas - Marcantoni now has a new attorney in Baltimore - tried to explain. If he had admitted that he had used a false name, they told Davis, he could have incriminated himself further.

Davis was flabbergasted.

"I have heard a lot of questions over Texas justice over the years. This takes me over the top," Davis said after prosecutors presented documents with Marcantoni signing a false name. " ... In Texas, they don't care what your name is."

But the lawyers from the Lone Star State said that Texas law allowed for an alias to be used early on. They added that Marcantoni admitted rightly who he was when he spoke to the judge.

One of the Houston attorneys, Christopher Downey, said that he had even tried an entire case where the defendant's last name was never revealed.

That defendant was a topless dancer.

After the laughter died down on the courtroom gallery, Davis quipped: "They don't have last names."

The sentencing continues Wednesday.

- Matthew Dolan

Oh, say can you develop?

Baltimore stakeholders gave a developer's proposal to build condominiums on parkland in Canton the cold shoulder last week.

People didn't want to lose rare public space - waterfront space, no less - and all but vowed to jump in front of the bulldozer if it came to that. The fact that the condos would overshadow Maryland's Korean War Memorial only upset folks further.

But at least one person saw the bright side.

Calling The Sun the day after seeing the story on the condo proposal, developer Ed Hale, who's building his own residential and office development on the Canton waterfront, had a little news of his own.

"I'd like to announce," he said, tongue firmly in cheek, "that I'll be building apartments on top of Fort McHenry."

- Jill Rosen

He's a horse's ... head

Fairly soon, posters with photographs of the three Carroll County commissioners superimposed against a field of racing horses will grace the walls of county libraries.

It's all part of the effort to promote a reading and discussion initiative dubbed "On the Same Page: Carroll County Reads Together." The library chose Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand for its first "reading together" selection and presented the commissioners with framed copies of the posters in a proclamation ceremony.

"I am just happy to be the horse's head in the picture," said Commissioner Dean L. Minnich.

That could change, said Commissioner Perry L. Jones Jr. "With computers today, we can always alter images," he said.

- Mary Gail Hare

A big bunch of fakirs

Aching toes. Sagging arches. Twisted ankles.

Officials of the Anne Arundel County school system know that the tootsies of today's scholar-athletes face a number of perils with every wrenching hit they take on the field and every overloaded backpack.

So they issued an announcement Friday about a health fair offering free pedicures, foot massages and courses on prevention of bunions, corns and blisters, as well as selection of proper footwear.

Proper gear would be key for another activity at the fair: lessons on walking on hot coals.

Alas, those arriving at the designated location expecting to see barbecuing feet would be disappointed: the notice was an April Fools' Day joke.

- Liz F. Kay

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