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June 15, 2010
I agree with the judge's decision to hold Baltimore Police Officer Gahiji A. Tshamba without bail in the first degree murder of Tyrone Brown ("Officer 'did what he had to,' lawyer says," June 15). First of all, Mr. Tshamba was an off-duty cop who could have gone about this situation differently. Secondly, you have witnesses who were with Mr. Brown and two independent witnesses who stated that Mr. Brown obeyed Officer Tshamba's wishes when he drew his weapon. Mr. Brown's hands were in the air when Officer Tshamba began to fire 13 rounds, 12 of which struck Mr. Brown.
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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2014
With lawmakers still far apart on how to overhaul Maryland's bail system, legislative leaders and the O'Malley administration have cobbled together a short-term fix that involves an executive order and recruiting private attorneys for little or no pay to represent poor defendants. At the direction of legislative leaders, a joint House and Senate committee has set aside $10 million in the state budget to address a ruling by Maryland's highest court that the current bail system is unconstitutional because it fails to provide lawyers early enough in the process.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2014
The Senate voted 37-9 Monday night for a sweeping overhaul of Maryland's system for deciding who is held and who is released after an arrest. The legislation now goes to the House, where lawmakers have been struggling to reach consensus on their own version of a plan to respond to a Court of Appeals decision requiring that people who are arrested be represented by a lawyer at all steps of the bail review process. Previously, representation was not required for initial hearings before a bail commissioner.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2014
With lawmakers still far apart on how to overhaul Maryland's bail system, legislative leaders and the O'Malley administration have cobbled together a short-term fix that involves an executive order and recruiting private attorneys for little or no pay to represent poor defendants. At the direction of legislative leaders, a joint House and Senate committee has set aside $10 million in the state budget to address a ruling by Maryland's highest court that the current bail system is unconstitutional because it fails to provide lawyers early enough in the process.
NEWS
April 23, 2013
The 19-year-old Harford County man with developmental disabilities who is accused of killing his 2-month-old niece was ordered Monday to continue being held without bail. Colin Christopher Wolf, of the 2000 block of Bay Meadows Court in Forest Hill, is facing first degree murder charges after he allegedly struck the child, who had been left in his care, in the face Thursday night and she later died, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office. After an earlier bail review hearing Friday where Harford County District Court Judge Mimi Cooper questioned Wolf's competency, District Court Judge Victor Butanis ordered Wolf to continue being held without bail Monday and made no mention of any competency concerns.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2014
The teen homicide suspect stood with his head hung low Tuesday as his attorney pleaded unsuccessfully for a judge to take his youth and learning disabilities into consideration and grant him bail. Allen Pinkney, wearing the distinctive black-and-white T-shirt in which he was arrested Saturday, stood shackled in the second row of a courtroom in the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. Pinkney, 16, is one of two teenagers who Baltimore police say fatally stabbed 51-year-old Kimberly Leto during a burglary Friday in Highlandtown.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | tricia.bishopt@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | March 26, 2010
Baltimore bail bondsman Milton Tillman III, 32, pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to charges he defrauded the Treasury Department, lied on tax returns and permitted a prohibited person, his father, to participate in the insurance business through a type of bond guarantee. His father, Milton Tillman Jr., who was indicted alongside his son in February, was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday as well, but his attorney Billy Murphy was held up in New Orleans. Tillman Jr.'s arraignment on charges he defrauded Ports of America Baltimore Inc., by allegedly saying he worked more than he did, as well as the Treasury Department, by claiming he made less than he did has been rescheduled to April 2. Tillman Jr. also faces charges of filing false tax returns, wire fraud, and illegally engaging in the insurance business through 4 Aces Bail Bonds.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | November 21, 2013
A federal judge in Manhattan denied bail Thursday to Ross Ulbricht after federal prosecutors alleged that he plotted six killings earlier this year to protect his position as the operator of the sprawling online drug market Silk Road. Assistant U.S. Attorney Serrin Turner said it's not clear whether five of the intended victims actually exist. But Turner argued that Ulbricht could not be released without endangering the public or running the risk that he would flee. He said the 29-year-old had explored obtaining citizenship in another country and ordered fake identity documents.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2014
State judiciary administrators have asked the state's top court to throw out a landmark ruling that poor defendants have a constitutional right to public defenders at their first bail hearings. The request came this week as lawmakers attempt to respond to the decision, discussing sweeping changes to the way the state handles defendants before trial. But in this week's court filing, the attorney general's office questioned whether the legislative proposals would give low-risk defendants a better chance of being quickly freed, arguing the opposite could happen.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley and legislative leaders are pushing for a new system to quickly determine whether criminal suspects are eligible for release without bail - a move they say will resolve constitutional concerns over the rights of defendants before trial. The overhaul would change a decades-old system under which District Court commissioners either set suspects' bail after arrest, deny bail or let them go. The state's top court has ruled that the process violates defendants' right to counsel because public defenders are not provided.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2014
The Senate voted 37-9 Monday night for a sweeping overhaul of Maryland's system for deciding who is held and who is released after an arrest. The legislation now goes to the House, where lawmakers have been struggling to reach consensus on their own version of a plan to respond to a Court of Appeals decision requiring that people who are arrested be represented by a lawyer at all steps of the bail review process. Previously, representation was not required for initial hearings before a bail commissioner.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2014
As the General Assembly enters the final week of its 90-day session, lawmakers have fewer issues coming down to the wire than in a typical year — but some that remain are very thorny indeed. A proposal to raise the minimum wage, Gov. Martin O'Malley's top priority in his last year as governor, is stalled by a key senator's demand that the state also increase the pay of workers who care for the developmentally disabled. The House and Senate are wrangling over how much money to devote to a tax break intended to keep the production of the hit TV series "House of Cards" in Maryland.
NEWS
March 28, 2014
If you're going to form an opinion on a subject such as public defenders and bail reform, you should have knowledge of that subject and a clear understanding of all of the facts. Obviously, The Sun's editorial supporting Senate Bill 973 ( "Getting out of jail free," March 27) demonstrates you are not well informed. You are partially right in saying, "The bill would prevent court commissioners from making decisions... negating the need for public defenders…. " If you read the actual bill or listen to the testimony given in both the House and Senate committee hearings, you would realize 70 percent of the commissioners would be terminated.
NEWS
Tim Wheeler | March 12, 2014
With a little over three weeks left in the General Assembly session this year, legislative leaders are scrambling to come up with a response to a potentially costly Court of Appeals ruling requiring legal representation for all criminal defendants during bail hearings. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Wednesday that he and House Speaker Michael E. Busch had agreed to work together to try to avoid a legislative impasse on the issue. The state now provides attorneys only at hearings before judges.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2014
The Court of Appeals pushed back a deadline Friday for authorities in Baltimore to expand criminal defendants' access to lawyers, but one of the state's top judges said she does not expect to alter the court's underlying ruling that suspects have a right to counsel at all bail hearings. The ruling last year, which has set off a wide-ranging debate on how to handle the 175,000 or so people arrested in Maryland each year, could take effect as soon as Tuesday. District Court administrators — the defendants in the case — as well as the governor and Senate president had hoped the hearing would be a chance to reverse the ruling, which is vexing policymakers as they try to figure out a way to comply.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2014
State judiciary administrators have asked the state's top court to throw out a landmark ruling that poor defendants have a constitutional right to public defenders at their first bail hearings. The request came this week as lawmakers attempt to respond to the decision, discussing sweeping changes to the way the state handles defendants before trial. But in this week's court filing, the attorney general's office questioned whether the legislative proposals would give low-risk defendants a better chance of being quickly freed, arguing the opposite could happen.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2014
Maryland's courts should provide defendants with lawyers at their first bail hearings in Baltimore starting in February, with other areas following closely behind, plaintiffs in a long running dispute over the issue proposed Friday. The Court of Appeals ruled in September that criminal suspects have a right to a lawyer at their initial appearance before a court commissioner, but that right has been left in limbo since then as the state grapples with how to provide public defenders at potentially thousands of hearings.
NEWS
By Brent Jones, The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2010
A judge ordered an 80-year-old Baltimore man accused of strangling his wife held without bail at a hearing Wednesday morning. Police said they found Philip Reid choking his wife, Glennie, 83, Monday night in the couple's Edmondson Village home. He was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault Tuesday night. According to police, the couple's daughter said she drove her father to the house and waited in the car, unaware of what he had planned. She said she heard screams and called police, who forced open the door.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | February 7, 2014
Gov. Martin O'Malley and legislative leaders are pushing for a new system to quickly determine whether criminal suspects are eligible for release without bail - a move they say will resolve constitutional concerns over the rights of defendants before trial. The overhaul would change a decades-old system under which District Court commissioners either set suspects' bail after arrest, deny bail or let them go. The state's top court has ruled that the process violates defendants' right to counsel because public defenders are not provided.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2014
The teen homicide suspect stood with his head hung low Tuesday as his attorney pleaded unsuccessfully for a judge to take his youth and learning disabilities into consideration and grant him bail. Allen Pinkney, wearing the distinctive black-and-white T-shirt in which he was arrested Saturday, stood shackled in the second row of a courtroom in the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. Pinkney, 16, is one of two teenagers who Baltimore police say fatally stabbed 51-year-old Kimberly Leto during a burglary Friday in Highlandtown.
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