2 charged in death of inmate make bail

Former officers released on $100,000 bond

third defendant remains jailed

August 24, 2005|By Josh Mitchell | Josh Mitchell,SUN STAFF

Two former correctional officers charged in the stomping death of a Baltimore jail detainee each posted $100,000 bond yesterday.

James L. Hatcher, 43, of Northeast Baltimore was released from Howard County Detention Center, a Howard County state's attorney's spokesman said.

Dameon C. Woods, 33, of Rosedale was released from Harford County Detention Center last night, authorities said, hours after an afternoon bail review in Harford.

Both men were indicted on second-degree murder and assault charges in the May death of Raymond K. Smoot, 51, who died after a violent confrontation with correctional officers in his cell at Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Center.

A third former officer charged in the case, Nathaniel D. Colbert, 42, of West Baltimore, remained at Howard County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Yesterday in Harford County Circuit Court, Woods' mother, wife and three other relatives sat in the second row, several wiping tears, as he appeared in shackles and a black-and-white striped shirt that read "Inmate" on the back. Woods sat quietly as Harford County Circuit Judge Thomas E. Marshall set his bail at $100,000, twice the amount his attorney had requested.

Arguing for a bail of at least $100,000, the prosecutor handling the case, Mark Cohen of the Baltimore state's attorney's office, called Woods' alleged actions "outrageous." The prosecutor accused him of "doing ... a dance" and "celebrating" after the attack.

Woods' attorney, Margaret A. Mead, denied those allegations and told the judge she had "significant" evidence that Woods was not present during the beating of Smoot. She emphasized that Woods, a married father of three children, was not a flight risk because he had no prior criminal record and no contacts outside of Maryland.

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