Elkton woman's jail term to stand

District judge undoes Circuit Court stay

April 23, 2008|By Madison Park

A Harford County District Court judge who sentenced an Elkton woman to jail two weeks ago ruled yesterday that the original sentence should stand.

On April 8, Judge Mimi R. Cooper sentenced Kerri J. King, 35, to one year in jail for driving on a suspended license in Harford County.

King, who has also been charged in a New Year's Eve hit-and-run accident that killed a Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer in Baltimore, was to receive credit for time spent in the Baltimore detention center on the Harford traffic offense.

King's defense attorney, Brian Cunningham, obtained a stay of King's sentence from Judge William O. Carr, chief judge of the Harford Circuit Court, the day she was sentenced.

Assistant State's Attorney Mike LaFleur said the stay of sentence had been granted without his presence.

According to the state's attorney's office, Cunningham is a former law clerk for Carr.

LaFleur said in District Court yesterday that Maryland law requires that the stay of sentence be left to the trial judge - who was Cooper.

Assistant Public Defender Timothy Bahr argued on King's behalf, whose case is being appealed. Bahr told Cooper that she didn't "have the authority to overrule Judge Carr," in what is now a Circuit Court matter.

Cooper questioned the legality of moving the case there and ruled that there will be no stay of King's sentence.

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