Woman handed year in jail on traffic charge

She is `person of interest' in fatal hit-and-run

April 09, 2008|By Madison Park | Madison Park,Sun reporter

A 35-year-old Elkton woman identified by authorities as a "person of interest" in a hit-and-run that killed a veteran Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer in December was sentenced yesterday to a year in jail on an unrelated traffic charge.

Kerri King was convicted of driving on a suspended license in November in Harford County.

King, who was identified as the owner of the sport utility vehicle involved in a fatal incident on New Year's Eve, has been held at the Baltimore City Detention Center since January, authorities said.

King has not been charged in the death of 40-year-old Cpl. Courtney G. Brooks, Maryland Transportation Authority Police spokesman Cpl. Jonathan Green said yesterday.

That investigation is "in the final stages," Green said. "In the next few days or weeks, we should be saying something about it."

Wearing handcuffs, leg irons and a belly chain, King was escorted into the courtroom in Bel Air by two Baltimore correctional officers.

On Nov. 20, King was ticketed for driving on a suspended license and for driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone in Havre de Grace, according to court records.

King, who was driving a 1994 Ford with temporary Delaware tags, was stopped by city police at 4:39 a.m., said Assistant State's Attorney Mike LaFleur.

After reviewing King's record, which included driving on a revoked or suspended license in Maryland and in Wisconsin, Judge Mimi Cooper imposed the maximum sentence.

"You have a horrendously horrendous prior record," Cooper told King.

In Wisconsin, between 2001 and 2005, King was found guilty on 20 charges that included mistreatment of animals and driving without a registration or license, according to court records.

King is to receive credit for time served in the Baltimore detention facility, authorities said.

"I would like to get home to my children," King told the judge. "I just want to start my life over. I've hurt my children more than I've hurt myself."

Her four children have been placed in foster care, she said.

"I'm under mental health care as we speak," King said.

Since January, King has been jailed on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in a Baltimore court on a drunken-driving charge from Sept. 27, authorities said.

Police said King, a part-time dancer on The Block in Baltimore, owned the SUV that has been linked to the hit-and-run that killed Brooks.

On New Year's Eve, Brooks was working alone on a traffic detail on Interstate 95 at I-395, stopping trucks from driving into the downtown area during the fireworks display, when he was hit.

Hours later in Cecil County, police found a green 1994 Ford Explorer that they believed struck the officer before speeding away.

The SUV, spotted at a North East truck stop, had front-end damage, a cracked windshield and a temporary Delaware tag.

Authorities arrested King on the warrant for failure to appear in a Baltimore court on the drunken-driving charge.

madison.park@baltsun.com

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