Former Baltimore council president accused of stalking, theft

Woman says he 'cyber stalked' her, repeatedly broke into home

March 04, 2011|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A woman who says she is the ex-girlfriend of former City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III is accusing him of stalking her and repeatedly breaking into her home, court records show.

Bell, a Democrat who spent 12 years on the council and lost the 1999 election for mayor, has been charged with third-degree burglary, theft less than $1,000, telephone harassment and stalking. The charges were filed by Shan Mabry, who said she has known and dated Bell for 20 years.

Contacted Thursday night, Bell declined to comment on the charges. Mabry could not be reached for comment.

The charges were approved by a District Court commissioner in late February, after Mabry, 49, sought a peace order against Bell, 49, for the second time in six months.

Bell entered the 1999 mayoral campaign as the front-runner and boasted campaign funds of more than $1 million but lost the Democratic primary to Martin O'Malley after a series of high-profile missteps and revelations about personal financial troubles.

Shortly after his defeat, Bell dropped out of public view and spent time in Atlanta. He made an attempt to return to local politics in 2006, campaigning in a crowded field for a West Baltimore state Senate seat that went to Catherine Pugh.

Beginning in August 2009, Mabry, of the 3400 block of College Ave., says that Bell, of the 3300 block of Auchentoroly Terrace, began breaking into her home, which she says was captured on security cameras — although she says he destroyed those tapes.

In a four-page complaint, she also cites numerous dates when she says Bell harassed her, and accuses him of "cyber stalking" and scratching her 54-inch television during one alleged break-in. He stole tools, computer equipment and a $700 pair of prescription sunglasses from her in October 2010, she claims.

Mabry wrote in an application for charges that she has seen him repeatedly drive by her home. He somehow obtained her new phone number and believes he is "listening in" on her calls, she claims in court records. "I know this because he made reference to conversations that I did not have in his presence," she wrote.

She says that he confronted her at church in May 2010 and that she "made it clear that it was over and he needed to stay away from me and out of my house or he was going to jail," she wrote.

In addition to the destroyed security camera tapes, she says that a slur written on her bathroom mirror in hair gel wouldn't show up in photographs. She decided to press charges after another break-in in late February, she wrote in court papers.

Records show she had previously sought a protective order in September 2010, but at a hearing requested that the order be dismissed.

The case is not the only legal trouble Bell has faced in recent years. The federal government filed a complaint against Bell and his parents in February 2010 seeking $1.2 million in unpaid taxes and fines from his father, a dentist with a practice overlooking Druid Hill Park. The complaint was dismissed when Lawrence A. Bell Jr. filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, court documents show.

justin.fenton@baltsun.com



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