State Digest

STATE DIGEST

December 08, 2006

Ehrlich creates panel to oversee crime labs

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. signed an executive order yesterday creating a state board charged with overseeing crime labs throughout Maryland.

The primary goal of the Maryland Forensic Science Advisory Board "is to ensure that forensic sciences are conducted in Maryland under the highest quality control procedures using the most modern equipment and technology," Ehrlich said in a statement.

"The Board will address the major challenges facing our crime labs today, including financing equipment upgrades, professional training, national accreditation and employee retention."

Crime labs that will be represented by the board include those operated by the state police, the state medical examiner's office, Baltimore, Hagerstown, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

The board will also promote collaboration and cooperation among the laboratories.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Washington County

Man jailed for probation breach

A man convicted of killing a kitten by throwing it into a fire has moved back in with his girlfriend and her five cats, prompting a probation violation charge and landing him in jail again.

Robert Lynn Tomlin, 22, of Smithsburg was being held without bail at the Washington County jail yesterday, eight days after the Humane Society of Washington County reported to a state Division of Parole and Probation agent that Tomlin was living again with his girlfriend, Kelli Green.

Tomlin could be jailed for up to 18 months, the suspended portion of a sentence that included three years of supervised probation. The terms of Tomlin's probation included a provision that he not have contact with animals or pets.

No hearing date on the probation-violation charge has been set.

Tomlin pleaded guilty Nov. 13 to one count of aggravated animal cruelty. A sheriff's deputy reported that the remains of a kitten were found July 2 in a smoldering outdoor fire pit at the house Tomlin shared with Green. As part of a plea bargain, the state dropped a second-degree assault charge alleging that Tomlin had hit Green.

Green initially told police that she and Tomlin had argued, prompting her to leave the house, and that when she returned, she found the remains of four week-old kittens in the pit. She recanted the statement a month later.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CECIL COUNTY

Sites for airport to be studied

Cecil County will conduct a feasibility study on building an airport at one of two sites west of North East. County commissioners approved the study Tuesday.

The airport sites are near the Chesapeake House travel center on Interstate 95.

County Commissioner Phyllis Kilby voted against both sites, saying, "I can't bring myself to take 500 acres - and how much else - out of the growth corridor," adding that the property is better suited for industry and residences.

Mike Waibel, senior airport planner with the county's consulting firm, URS, said, "It's feasible to have an airport there. There's a lot of land that is available."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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