Warrantless search ends handgun case against teen
The Carroll County state's attorney is not pursuing charges against an 18-year-old Hampstead man who had been accused of bringing a stolen handgun to North Carroll High School because the case relied on a warrantless search of the suspect's cell phone.
Michael J. Judd, 18, of the 4300 block of Downhill Trail was arrested in late May on charges of possessing a deadly weapon on school property and possession of a firearm by someone younger than 21, according to court documents. A friend had told Hampstead police that Judd showed him the handgun at school May 10, the documents stated.
Judd's mother allowed Hampstead police to search her son's room without a warrant in their quest for the stolen handgun, Deputy State's Attorney David P. Daggett said. In examining Judd's cell phone, also without a search warrant, police found a photo of the gun in a text message to the friend who had tipped authorities, Daggett said. Though Judd subsequently lead police to a neighboring yard where the gun was buried, prosecutors declined to proceed because of how the evidence was obtained.
"It wasn't like the teacher caught him in a restroom with the gun," Daggett said. "Then we would have had a good case. The whole case originated from the cell phone."
Other juveniles were charged with stealing the handgun from a Hampstead residence, he said. Charges against Judd will remain inactive for three years and then be dropped if no other offenses are committed, Daggett said.
Anne Arundel: Annapolis
Boy, 12, is stable after shooting
A 12-year-old was stable yesterday after his younger cousin accidentally shot him with a handgun, police said. Police believe an 8-year-old was showing the gun to the 12-year-old in an Annapolis home when it went off. The younger boy told police he did not know it was loaded. Police are treating the shooting as an accident, said police spokesman Kevin Freeman. He said the owner of the gun, a resident of the home, may be charged with failing to properly secure the weapon. The 12-year-old was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, where he was admitted in critical condition with a neck wound.
Baltimore: Federal court
Pa. drug dealer gets 12-year term
A Pittsburgh man who participated in a cross-country cocaine distribution network received a 12-year prison sentence in federal court in Baltimore yesterday. Eric Pinno, 41, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. As part of his sentence, the judge will order Pinno to forfeit $442,338 seized from him by authorities, prosecutors said. According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea, Pinno distributed 50 to 150 kilograms of cocaine to buyers in the Pittsburgh area. The drugs were brought across the country from California to Maryland in tractor-trailers and other vehicles before the cocaine was moved to Pennsylvania.
Singer to raise money for charity
Singer and musician Michael Austin will be featured Aug. 11 at a charity fundraising concert in Baltimore sponsored by Desert of Maryland Daughters of Isis, an auxiliary of the Prince Hall Shriners organization. The program will begin at 8 p.m. at the Willard W. Allen Masonic Temple, 1307 Eutaw Place. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door, and can be purchased by contacting Valerie Turpin at 410-922-3725 or through e-mail at turpin @bcplnet.
Howard County: Elkridge
Police car collides with auto on U.S. 1
A Howard County police vehicle on a call collided with a car early yesterday on U.S. 1, injuring both drivers, county police said. Pfc. Larry Brian, 13-year veteran assigned to the K-9 unit, was responding to an armed robbery call about 3:30 a.m., when he collided with a Nissan Maxima. Brian was traveling north, with his emergency lights flashing, on U.S. 1 near Montgomery Road when Kevin Devon Moore, 37, pulled out of a Shell station and in front of his vehicle, police said. The car was struck at the left front axle, police said. Brian and Moore, whose address was not available, were released after hospital treatment.