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NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer | December 13, 1992
Until last month when John Blades Sr. quietly slipped into his second retirement he regularly worked the evening shift and was often the first person in Harford County's court system to meet criminal suspects after they were arrested.As a court commissioner, he was responsible for ensuring that people showed up for trial, a process that required him to examine a suspect's background and determine whether bail or detention was required."Basically, I had to decide whether they [suspects] could be trusted to return to court at a later date to answer the charges against them," said the tall, white-haired baritone, who speaks with military precision.
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NEWS
By Alison Matas and Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2013
Daren Ruffin had been home from jail for only about a week before he found himself in custody again. The charge was the same: second-degree assault, after his wife told Baltimore police that Ruffin beat her. But instead of spending a month in jail in lieu of bail, as he had before, Ruffin was released the next day on his own recognizance and ordered to stay away from his wife, Melissa Davis. Hours later, he was charged with first-degree murder. Police found Davis stabbed to death in the couple's apartment last Friday and say Ruffin confessed to the crime.
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NEWS
March 3, 2003
Julie Anne Wilcox, a District Court commissioner, died Feb. 24 of cancer at her Elkton home. She was 52. Born in Wilmington, Del., she was a 1968 graduate of the Tome School in Port Deposit and earned a degree in personnel management from the University of North Texas. She earned a master's degree from Central Michigan University. A former Johns Hopkins Hospital personnel employee, she became a District Court commissioner in Elkton about eight years ago. She was active in the Cecil County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and in the Head of the Elk chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
NEWS
By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | January 6, 2013
Maryland State police have charged David M. Montgomery with murder after a Westminster man was found dead early Saturday morning. Montgomery, 28, of no fixed address, was charged with first- and second-degree murder, and taken to the Carroll County Central Booking Center to await an appearance before a court commissioner. Edward C. Zepp, 61, was found dead on the back porch of his residence on the 100 block of West Main Street shortly after 4 a.m. with trauma to his neck. He was pronounced dead.
NEWS
April 27, 2003
Alonzo Richard Myers Jr., a Baltimore City court commissioner for more than 20 years, died of complications from gall bladder surgery Thursday at Maryland General Hospital. He was 52. Born in Baltimore, he was the only child of Alonzo R. Myers Sr. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Dorethea Bagley Myers of Baltimore. Mr. Myers lived in the Hunting Ridge area of the city. He was a 1969 graduate of City College, where he played varsity football and was on the track team, said a longtime friend, Laverne Sykes of Baltimore.
NEWS
October 10, 2006
Russell E. Mummert, a retired District Court commissioner who was active in Masonic organizations and the Elks, died of unknown causes Oct. 2 at Carroll Hospital Center. The Taneytown resident was 80. He was born in Hanover, Pa., where he attended school. Mr. Mummert became a commissioner for the District Court of Maryland in 1983, a position he held for a number of years. Earlier, he worked for 20 years for the Carroll County Elections Board, where he was in charge of the voting machines.
NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Staff writer | March 7, 1991
A county grand jury asked to review the District Court commissioner system released a report yesterday calling for commissioners to review the backgrounds of those arrested more thoroughly before setting their bond or releasing them.The grand jury also recommended the formation of a task force, including the county executive, to study thematter further, but that suggestion was met with a cool response by the chief judge of the District Court, who pointed out that the commissioner system is in effect statewide.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | December 6, 1995
A District Court commissioner was suspended yesterday, a day after Baltimore police complained that he freed a woman they had arrested after finding $250,000 in drugs and an Uzi machine pistol in her apartment.Judge Robert F. Sweeney, chief judge of the District Court of Maryland, said he was not satisfied with Court Commissioner Greg Cherry's written report on why he released the woman on personal recognizance. She is the girlfriend of a suspect in a slaying.Mr. Cherry was suspended with pay until tomorrow, when he is to meet with Judge Sweeney and Judge Ellen T. Rinehardt, the administrative judge of the Baltimore District Court, who will decide whether to take further disciplinary action.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | May 13, 2003
Authorities broke ground yesterday for an addition to the Howard County Detention Center, a project that should reduce costs and streamline booking procedures, they said. According to police and corrections officials, the $3.6 million project will house booking facilities and court commissioner offices, which are now in separate buildings. When someone is arrested, he or she is charged in Scaggsville, then taken to the court commissioner in Ellicott City before going to jail in Jessup - a procedure that can take up to four hours, authorities said.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | May 25, 2001
A 51-year-old man was arrested on assault and attempted sex offense charges after he was accused of approaching a group of children in a Jessup trailer park while armed with a knife and making a sexually suggestive statement, Howard County police said. Horace Bryan of no fixed address was arrested at the Aladdin Village mobile home park Wednesday night but was not taken before a court commissioner until yesterday, police said. A group of four boys and girls ages 5 to 10 were playing in a common area at the park when a man walked up about 9 p.m. Wednesday, police said.
NEWS
February 29, 2012
The case that led the Court of Appeals to conclude that indigent defendants arrested in Maryland should have the right to counsel when they appear before a district court commissioner put the state Office of the Public Defender in an awkward position. On principle, it agreed; the initial phase of the criminal justice process is crucial to determining the liberty of a person who is arrested, and without the benefit of counsel, far more people than necessary wound up confined to jail while awaiting trial because of excessive bail requirements.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | January 26, 2012
State legislators have drafted emergency bills to reverse a Maryland Court of Appeals order forcing public defenders to attend thousands of bail hearings for indigent defendants held in front of district court commissioners each year, after law enforcement officials complained about the cost. The measures, introduced in the Maryland House and Senate, would amend the state's public defender statute to remove the right to counsel at the commissioner stage, before the high court's mandate takes effect next month.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2012
At 10 a.m. on a recent weekday, roughly a half-dozen District Court commissioners were individually processing 120 arrestees at Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Center, and making big decisions about whether to set bail or release the accused with instructions to come to court when called. They work out of tiny concrete cells in the detention center, similar to those packed with waiting prisoners. For protection, they have a window partition between them and the defendant, who is locked in during the proceeding.
NEWS
January 5, 2012
The Court of Appeals ruling this week calling for indigent defendants to be represented by lawyers at the court commissioner hearings that determine whether they'll be released before trial, granted bail or held in jail was an important step for justice in Maryland. These initial post-arrest proceedings can have profound effects on defendants - most of whom face relatively minor charges that will never go to trial - and on their families and communities. Ultimately, it will also be a good thing for taxpayers.
SPORTS
By Justin Fenton and Mike Preston , and Justin Fenton and Mike Preston , , justin.fenton@baltsun.com and mike.preston@baltsun.com | December 6, 2009
A Baltimore woman has obtained a temporary restraining order against Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs after filing a domestic violence complaint, according to online court records. On Friday, a court commissioner ordered Suggs to stay away from the woman and her home, pending a hearing this Friday. The order was granted after the woman, identified as Candace Williams, 26, filed a domestic violence complaint in Baltimore District Court. "I won't have anything to say," Suggs, 27, told The Baltimore Sun on Saturday.
NEWS
By Josh Mitchell and Josh Mitchell,Sun reporter | August 1, 2007
A Baltimore County judge denied bail yesterday for a 22-year-old man accused of fatally shooting the mother of his 3-year-old son in her rowhouse this week. Ryan Joseph Butler is being held on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Anna Marie Bergman, 20, who lived in the 300 block of Westshire Road in a neighborhood just west of Baltimore City. During a brief hearing in Towson District Court, a lawyer for Butler requested bail so the defendant could stay at his parents' Southwest Baltimore home.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | March 1, 1999
A 24-year-old Ellicott City man charged with shooting his mother Friday is scheduled to appear today before a Howard County district judge for a bail review hearing. Antwan C. Morgan of the 3300 block of N. Chatham Road was ordered held without bail by a court commissioner Saturday after Howard County police charged him with attempted murder in the shooting of his mother, Gwendolyn L. Hebron, 40, at the apartment they shared. Morgan was charged after he was released from Howard County General Hospital, where he was treated for exposure to chemicals after a 14-hour standoff Friday that ended when police fired tear gas and pepper gas into the apartment.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer | July 11, 1995
Prominent defense attorney William H. Murphy Jr. was arrested yesterday after state police said he engaged in a heated argument with a hearing officer and refused to leave the Glen Burnie courthouse.Mr. Murphy, whose sometimes confrontational style has angered at least one judge who has cited him for contempt of court three times, was upset that a court commissioner set bail for his 22-year-old companion, who had just been charged with drunken driving.The 52-year-old lawyer was handcuffed and charged with being disorderly in a public place, disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest and trespassing -- all misdemeanors.
NEWS
October 10, 2006
Russell E. Mummert, a retired District Court commissioner who was active in Masonic organizations and the Elks, died of unknown causes Oct. 2 at Carroll Hospital Center. The Taneytown resident was 80. He was born in Hanover, Pa., where he attended school. Mr. Mummert became a commissioner for the District Court of Maryland in 1983, a position he held for a number of years. Earlier, he worked for 20 years for the Carroll County Elections Board, where he was in charge of the voting machines.
NEWS
August 17, 2006
A decision earlier this summer by an Anne Arundel County court commissioner to allow a father to remain at home with the daughter he was charged with molesting left the 15-year-old victim vulnerable to possible abuse; it was a dangerous miscarriage of justice. But that's not the worst of it. The county Department of Social Services, which was alerted to the suspected abuse as required by law, closed its case on the teenager and her family without putting into place a customary plan to ensure her safety or that of her siblings -- an unconscionable (and as yet unexplained)
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