Defense review to delay trial

Lawyers want to build case for man accused of attacking 2 officers


The attempted-murder trial of a man accused of attacking two police officers who responded to a suicide call - a tussle that left all three men bloodied and a hallway in the man's Darlington home wrecked - will be delayed as defense lawyers review evidence in the case.

Timothy Allen Deaner, 25, of the 1100 block of Main St. faces several charges stemming from the altercation, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Deaner, who could face life in prison if convicted, is free on $25,000 bond.

The trial was scheduled to begin tomorrow. Deaner's lawyer, Robert A. Diem, was granted a postponement Thursday to seek expert opinion and review records recently made available to the defense. The trial has been rescheduled for Feb. 7.

According to paperwork filed in Harford County Circuit Court, Diem intends to establish that emergency response procedures were violated and that one of the responding officers, Deputy Gerard Morgan, has a propensity for using excessive force when making arrests.

On July 13, Morgan and Sgt. Timothy Impallaria responded to Deaner's residence on a call that he had overdosed on medication in an attempt to kill himself, according to a police report filed by Morgan.

Police found Deaner upstairs lying on his bed and detected a strong odor of alcohol. Deaner, who told officers he wanted to kill himself, began to leave the room to go to an ambulance outside when he suddenly stopped, the report said.

"I'm not ... going nowhere," he said.

According to the report, Deaner choked Morgan with his right hand, slamming him against the wall. After being struck on top of the head with a flashlight, Deaner then turned on Impallaria, the report said.

Morgan punched Deaner in the face and called for him to get on the ground and place his hands behind his back, documents indicate. But Deaner threw Impallaria into a wall as the skirmish led into the adjacent hallway. Deaner punched Morgan in the face several times and pushed him into a wall in the hallway, according to the report.

Deaner then grabbed Morgan's gun and tried to pull it from the holster, the report said. As Morgan reached for his pepper spray, Deaner knocked it to the ground, and Morgan was hit in the face, causing his nose to bleed.

Morgan's lapel was torn from his uniform, which put his radio out of reach. He finally secured Deaner in a rear chokehold and placed him in handcuffs.

Court records described the aftermath. Both officers had a "substantial" amount of blood and drywall residue on their arms, faces, hands and uniforms. Both suffered several injuries. A diagram of the home made later by police shows several holes in the hallway outside the main bedroom and another in the bathroom wall. Several spatters of blood dotted the hallway floors and walls.

Deaner's injuries were not recorded in the police report, but deputies took photographs of him as he slept in his hospital bed at Harford Memorial Hospital. Diem said in court records that the photos will reveal that excessive force was used by the officers.

Diem could not be reached before the Thanksgiving holiday for comment. Deputy State's Attorney Diana A. Brooks and police spokesman Robert B. Thomas declined to comment.

In addition to two counts of attempted first-degree murder, Deaner has been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, disarming a law officer, resisting and interfering with an arrest, obstruction and hindering, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property for damage caused to the officers' uniforms.

The maximum penalties for the charges are life in prison for attempted first-degree murder, 25 years for first-degree assault, and 60 days in jail or a $500 fine for destruction of property.

Deaner posted bond shortly after the incident and was released. In September, Diem filed a motion to allow Deaner and a woman to leave the state and take a six-day vacation at a resort in Montana. The defense later withdrew the motion.

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