Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

November 15, 2006

Bus depot jeopardizes land deal for library

A Baltimore County councilman said yesterday he will move to kill a land deal that would allow a public library to be built in Perry Hall unless the county government cancels plans to park school buses on the property.

The government has agreed to buy nearly 7 acres from the Archdiocese of Baltimore for just less than $1.3 million. Part of the land, at Cross Road and Honeygo Boulevard, would be used for a parking lot for 50 school buses, county officials say. The council is scheduled to vote on the proposed deal Monday.

But Councilman Vincent J. Gardina, a Towson-Perry Hall Democrat, said at a work session yesterday that residents strongly oppose the plan for the bus depot. He warned county officials that the bill authorizing the deal would be withdrawn before a vote, if the county did not amend the contract to guarantee the land would not be used for bus parking.

"This will not move forward on Monday night" without the amendment, he told County Administrative Officer Anthony G. Marchione.

Marchione said county officials are looking at alternative sites for the bus depot.

At least one of Gardina's colleagues, Council Chairman John Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, said he would likely stand with Gardina in opposing the deal.

Josh Mitchell

Resentencing

Hearing delayed for girl's killer

A hearing scheduled for next week to resentence a Baltimore man previously sent to death row for killing his girlfriend's daughter was postponed yesterday after prosecutors told a judge they needed more time to respond to a recent defense request to exclude some "psychiatric evidence" about the convicted killer.

Jamaal K. Abeokuto, 26, was granted a new sentencing hearing in February after four Maryland Court of Appeals judges voted, for two different reasons, to rescind the death sentence. He was convicted in 2004 of kidnapping and killing 8-year-old Marciana Ringo, whose body was found in Harford County.

Lawyers representing Abeokuto for his new sentencing hearing in Baltimore County Circuit Court filed a request earlier this month to prohibit prosecutors from using "certain institutional and psychiatric evidence at sentencing," according to a letter that Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly wrote to the court. The defense motion, which was not in the court file yesterday morning, also alleged that some of what Abeokuto told the state's psychiatric expert was said "involuntarily," according to Cassilly's letter.

Cassilly told Baltimore County Circuit Judge Patrick Cavanaugh yesterday that he will need to call Abeokuto's former lawyer, Warren A. Brown, as a witness to address the issues raised in the recent motion.

A new motions hearing was scheduled for March 6.

Originally sentenced by a judge, Abeokuto has asked to have a jury decide his fate this time. The murder case was moved to Baltimore County from Harford after Abeokuto requested a change of venue.

Jennifer McMenamin

Child pornography

Man gets jail for trying to buy videos

A federal judge yesterday sentenced a 29-year-old Baltimore County man to almost four years in prison for trying to buy child pornography from an undercover postal inspector who was posing as a seller.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis also required Brian C. Trimble to register as a sex offender and stay on probation for the rest of his life. He could have received up to five years in prison.

Trimble admitted that on Feb. 17, 2004, he sent an e-mail from his home in Nottingham to an undercover U.S. postal inspector in an effort to buy explicit videos of underage children, according to a statement of facts provided to the court as part of the plea agreement.

Matthew Dolan

Forensic lab

Police buy comparison microscope

Baltimore County police unveiled a new forensic laboratory microscope yesterday that will be used to help examine evidence found at crime scenes.

County police purchased a $66,000 firearm and tool marks comparison microscope through the support of the Baltimore County Police Foundation, authorities said.

Nick Shields

Items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days before the event.

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