State Digest

STATE DIGEST

May 04, 2007

State to pay family of suicidal prisoner

State officials have agreed to pay $200,000 to the family of a man who committed suicide in the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center 6 1/2 years ago, according to lawyers representing the plaintiffs.

Darcy Mossof and Anton J.S. Keating - the two lawyers for the family of Robert W. Clementson - said the payment is the maximum permitted under the Maryland Tort Claims Act. It does not include any admission of liability by the state.

Barbara Cooper, a spokeswoman for the Division of Pretrial Detention and Services, said yesterday she could confirm that a settlement had been reached, but could not provide details.

Clementson, who was 27, was a heroin addict and father of two. He was arrested after his mother told police that he had stolen thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from her home in Carroll County. But his mother had also warned police that her son would be suicidal if arrested, according to the lawsuit originally filed in 2003.

Within 24 hours of being arrested and detained in Baltimore, Clementson hanged himself.

A civil lawsuit charging negligence had been scheduled to begin trial in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday. A federal civil rights lawsuit was dismissed in May 2006.

Sun staff

Maryland

: Annapolis

Gansler fights smoking in films

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler yesterday joined attorneys general across the nation in asking Hollywood studios to remove depictions of smoking from movies targeted to children.

Gansler said in a news release that studies at the Harvard School of Public Health found that viewing smoking in movies can encourage children to smoke.

"After years of letters and meetings, the Motion Picture Association of America told the attorneys general last October that it was going to seek the advice of the experts at Harvard," Gansler said in the release. "If the studios are concerned about the health of our children, they will take that advice and remove smoking in movies viewed by children."

Gansler's predecessor, J. Joseph Curran Jr., was also active in the issue. Since 2003, more than 40 state attorneys general have worked to eliminate smoking from movies and to encourage the airing of anti-smoking public service announcements.

Andrew A. Green

Garrett County

: Trout hatcheries

DNR destroys 20,000 fish

The state Department of Natural Resources destroyed 20,000 hatchery trout yesterday, bringing to at least 156,000 the number of fish the agency has destroyed this year in hopes of curbing the spread of whirling disease, an illness fatal to trout.

The brown and rainbow trout killed yesterday were from net pens below Jennings Randolph Dam in the North Branch of the Potomac River, Assistant Secretary Michael Slattery said. The DNR has known since 1995 that the Jennings Randolph Culture Station harbored the parasite that causes whirling disease, but decided in March to close the operation after the disease was found at two trout-rearing stations in Garrett County.

The rearing station at the Mettiki coal mine near Table Rock has been closed. The state-owned Bear Creek Rearing Station near Accident has been emptied of fish. Last month, the whirling disease parasite also was found in Bear Creek, which supplies water to the Bear Creek station.

The parasite deforms trout skeletons, causing them to swim in circles until they die.

Associated Press

Somerset County

: Princess Anne

UMES student charged

Police have charged a former member of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore basketball team with shooting two students and stabbing another at two off-campus housing facilities on Friday.

Shaun Clarence Warrick, 23, of Philadelphia has been a fugitive since Tuesday and is considered armed and dangerous, said Princess Anne Police Chief Russell Pecoraro.

Warrick is charged in a warrant with the stabbing Friday of Adeyemi Durity, 20, and with the shootings the same day of Johnny Jasper Britt III, 20, and Marcus Ormsby, 19.

Warrick, an exercise science major, played for the UMES Hawks during the 2005-2006 season, according to the university's sports media guide.

Britt, Ormsby and Durity were treated for their injuries at Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

Associated Press

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