Judge leaves Hensen case

April 02, 2009|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,michael.dresser@baltsun.com

A Carroll County judge has stepped aside from hearing traffic charges against a man who went to prison for his role in a fatal 1998 crash and went on to receive a half-dozen speeding tickets in the years since his release.

Judge Marc C. Rasinsky recused himself Wednesday in the District Court trial of Frederick Henry Hensen Jr., citing an article Sunday in The Baltimore Sun on Hensen's history of speeding and other driving violations. Hensen got tickets before and after his involvement in the crash that killed middle school teacher Geraldine Wu.

Hensen was convicted of manslaughter by automobile in 1999, along with another man who participated in a road race on Route 140 that ended in the crash that killed Wu. A third man pleaded guilty in 1998. Hensen served 15 months. Hensen, 32, was scheduled to appear Wednesday on charges of reckless driving, negligent driving and driving on a suspended license, all stemming from a traffic stop in Westminster in January. Since his release from prison in 2000, Hensen has been found guilty of four speeding offenses. He received probation before judgment in a fifth case. A sixth got lost in the system and was never tried.

Rasinsky, who was interviewed for the Sun article, said he hadn't read it but that acquaintances talked to him about it and he felt it was best to remove himself from the case. A new date will be set for a trial before a visiting judge from another county.

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