Free on bail, rearrested

Man charged with murder accused in 2nd shooting

August 28, 2008|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,

A 25-year-old man who was charged with first-degree murder last month but released on bail by a District Court judge has been arrested again and charged in the shooting of a man during a robbery in South Baltimore.

Police said witnesses identified Demetrius Smith as the man who shot Robert Long twice in the head near railroad tracks in the 400 block of S. Stricker St. on March 24, and he was charged July 8 with first-degree murder, assault and handgun violations. A bail commissioner held him without bond.

But Baltimore District Judge Timothy Braverman set Smith's bail at $350,000, a rare move because suspects charged with first-degree murder are generally held without bond. Smith, of the 400 block of Parrish St., posted bail the next day and walked out of jail.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's editions about the release of a murder suspect who was arrested again for armed robbery misidentified a Baltimore District Court judge. His name is Nathan Braverman.
The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.

A tape of the bail review hearing was not available yesterday.

Smith was arrested again Sunday and charged with armed robbery, assault, handgun violations and related charges in the shooting of Clyde Hendricks, 56, who was shot in the upper right leg during a robbery in the 400 block of Parrish St. According to court records, police developed Smith as a suspect through witnesses, and Hendricks identified him through a photo array - the same means used to identify Smith in Long's killing.

This time, Smith is being held without bail.

Braverman, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, has come in for criticism from retired Baltimore prosecutor Page Croyder, who wrote about Smith's original bail reduction and others on the Center for Emerging Media Web site.

Croyder said yesterday that Braverman had a penchant for requiring too much of detectives in the early stages of their court proceedings and said the judge has a history of reducing bail in serious cases.

"Based on the nature of the allegations, no bail was a no-brainer," Croyder said in an interview. "Judge Braverman seems to have the perspective that he needs to be told at a bail review how investigators came to the conclusion of how [a suspect] did it, but the rules don't require that."

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