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By Justin Fenton and Justin Fenton,Sun Reporter | July 17, 2008
A brazen con artist received the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison yesterday for the 2006 murder of her boyfriend, after adding another bizarre chapter to a life of crime with a court appearance that included a last-ditch attempt to take back her guilty plea. Cynthia J. McKay, a 52-year-old mother of six, said a prison "epiphany" had convinced her to try to fight the charges - even though her son's release from jail was tied to her following through with her plea. When the judge turned down the request for a trial, McKay then said that she had stabbed her boyfriend during a fight.
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NEWS
By Ian Duncan and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
As the murder trial of a man Baltimore police labeled "Public Enemy No. 1" started this week, a prosecutor added a new twist to the case: Ramon Rodriguez was murdered, she said, because his killer had discovered he was helping police with an investigation. When authorities named Capone Chase as their most-wanted fugitive in July 2013, they made no mention that his victim was a police informant. They focused instead on the brutal details of the crime: The 21-year-old Rodriguez on his knees, shot through the head at a Greektown playground.
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NEWS
February 3, 2010
After reading the article "Scathing memo backs Dixon deal" (Feb. 3), I'm wondering if State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh shouldn't submit his resignation as well as Mayor Sheila Dixon. Based on all the evidence that was disclosed during the mayor's trial, I'm at a loss as to why it was necessary to broker a deal with the mayor to keep her $83,000 annual city pension. The message this action sends to current and future elected officals is, "It's OK to steal; I'll still get paid!" Mr. Rohrbaigh's memo seems more of an effort to conceal his incompetence than to justify the "deal" he brokered.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton and The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2014
Starting Wednesday, you can no longer be arrested in Maryland for possessing a small amount of marijuana. But how the rest of that interaction with police plays out might depend on what jurisdiction you're in. Lawmakers did not legalize marijuana, but made possession of less than 10 grams an offense that results in a $100 ticket for a first infraction. That means that thousands of cases each year will no longer lead to a criminal record. In Montgomery County, you can avoid arrest even for an amount far exceeding 10 grams, if police deem your stash to be for personal use only.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2012
Janice L. Bledsoe, a private defense attorney who joined State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein's administration last year to prosecute police misconduct cases, is no longer with the office. Spokesman Mark Cheshire said Bledsoe "left to pursue other opportunities. " On Tuesday, an agency-wide email went out instructing city prosecutors to direct police integrity issues to Deputy State's Attorney George Hazel "effective immediately," but did not say Bledsoe was gone. Cheshire said the office had "launched a search to find a replacement" and did not provide additional details.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2011
If the city's most outspoken activists gave Gregg Bernstein a honeymoon period after being sworn in earlier this month as Baltimore's new top prosecutor, it appears to be over. Two groups of loosely affiliated community organizations and special interests protested on opposite sides of the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse on Monday, accusing Bernstein of being tight-lipped on a racially charged assault case and criticizing his "unholy" alliance with the Police Department. On the west side of the courthouse, protesters formed a picket line, calling the shooting of Officer William H. Torbit Jr. a murder and carrying signs with such incendiary slogans as "Arrogant Racist State's Attorney.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2011
Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has hired a former Baltimore prosecutor to oversee the enforcement of financial regulations, the state said Wednesday. Cynthia H. Jones, the new assistant commissioner of enforcement and consumer services, will also direct staff who handle consumer questions and complaints within the department's financial regulation office. She worked for the Baltimore state's attorney's office for 15 years. She was deputy state's attorney for the past five years, with duties that included managing investigations.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | July 25, 2012
George W. Huguely V's lawyers have asked a Charlottesville circuit court judge to hold an evidentiary hearing to determine whether prosecutors in his murder trial withheld exculpatory evidence. A proceeding to consider the request is set for July 31. Huguely, 24, was convicted of second degree murder this winter in the alcohol-fueled beating death of his University of Virginia girlfriend, Yeardley Love, who was from Cockeysville. The former lacrosse player is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 30. His lawyers have asked for a new trial, claiming in court papers filed Monday that Commonwealth Attorney Warner “Dave” Chapman did not disclose imminent plans by Love's family to file a $30.5 million lawsuit against Huguely.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | November 29, 2011
In the case involving an altercation last week between Baltimore Clerk of Circuit Court Frank M. Conaway Sr. and a blogger, State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein has said his office won't make the decision on whether to file criminal charges or handle any ensuing court proceedings. That responsibility will instead fall to Steven I. Kroll, a former Baltimore County prosecutor who now works as a coordinator for Maryland's association of state's attorneys. In recent months, Kroll's position has evolved from one that deals with ethics and training issues, to also serving as a special outside counsel for cases in which prosecutors say their offices have a potential conflict of interest.
NEWS
April 15, 2011
A former Baltimore County prosecutor was convicted Friday of armed carjacking and robbery for stealing a car at knifepoint from two women outside a store in January last year, according to the State's Attorney's Office. Isaiah Dixon, 55, was ordered to the Baltimore County Detention Center and is scheduled to be sentenced June 1. Dixon had worked as an assistant state's attorney for nearly eight years, until July 1997, and was in private practice until he was disbarred in 2010 after a history of drug problems and his arrest in the carjacking.
NEWS
September 15, 2014
Women have a duty to combat the domestic violence in the NFL by refusing to buy the products of any football advertiser ( "Domestic violence deserves attention year round," Sept. 12). Cut off their money. Men have the same duty. We oppose violence, but in addition, we have here a conspiracy to thwart justice - by the Baltimore Ravens, by the New Jersey prosecutor and judge and by the NFL along with total silence on the part of every Maryland leader from Gov. Martin O'Malley to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell and The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2014
The owner of an Owings Mills medical firm is accused of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of more than $7.5 million in a federal indictment unsealed Monday. Federal prosecutors say Alpha Diagnostics owner Rafael Chikvashvili, 67, of Baltimore created false examination reports, submitted insurance claims for medical procedures that were never performed by licensed physicians, and overbilled Medicare and Medicaid, among other fraudulent acts. The X-ray company's offices in Owings Mills and Harrisburg, Pa., were raided last October by the FBI. Chikvashvili directed his employees, who were not doctors, to interpret X-rays, medical tests, ultrasounds and cardiological exams, rather than paying licensed physicians to do the work, the indictment alleged.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2014
Baltimore's top lawyer said Wednesday that the state's attorney's office has partnered with the city inspector general to investigate allegations that the Mayor's Office of Information Technology paid contractual employees for work they didn't perform. City Solicitor George A. Nilson, who supervises city Inspector General Robert H. Pearre Jr., confirmed that Baltimore prosecutors are now involved in the probe. "They have been working together," Nilson said. "I do know that the investigation is not 100 percent complete.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2014
Federal prosecutors pursuing a drug money case based in part on a police dog whose certification has been questioned said in court filings this week that the dog might actually have been properly trained. The case stems from the seizure of $122,000 in suspected drug money at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport last fall. An attorney for a woman who claims the money is hers asked a judge to throw out the case, alleging that prosecutors used a faked K-9 training certificate produced by the Maryland Transportation Authority Police to bolster their case.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2014
A former city school board member and city government worker who is accused of lying about his resume will be tried in court on fraud charges this fall. Anthony A. Hamilton, 35, who resigned from the school board as well as from the city's Health Department last August, used another man's Social Security number and student identification number to pretend to have degrees he didn't earn, prosecutors said in charging documents. Hamilton, who faces six fraud-related charges, was arraigned on Monday and has a trial scheduled for Oct. 27. His attorney could not be reached for comment.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2014
State Del. Pat McDonough has asked the Maryland State Prosecutor's Office to investigate whether the Baltimore County school board acted properly when it gave the superintendent an increase in his pay and benefits package of $27,000. McDonough believes Superintendent Dallas Dance's contract prohibits the board from giving the superintendent an increase in compensation that is larger than the teachers'. The board gave Dance a $5,000 raise as well as a $18,200 reimbursement for his contribution into the Maryland state retirement system and a larger payout for unused vacation days.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | October 24, 2011
The man who nearly 30 years ago prosecuted Mark Farley Grant for murder in Baltimore says he never would have brought the case had he known then what he knows today - that a key state's witness had testified only after being threatened at gunpoint by relatives of the original suspect. Phillip G. Dantes, who served as an assistant city state's attorney in the 1980s, says that, in light of information he now has, he would have prosecuted the original suspect, Mark "Shane" White, who is now deceased, instead of Mr. Grant.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2011
A lawyer who joined the U.S. Army Reserve says the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office declined to rehire him after he finished his training - which he alleges is a violation of federal law. Capt. Andrew Gross, 28, of Columbia filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore against the city and the prosecutor's office, claiming the office discriminated against him because of his military service. The suit seeks unspecified damages, back pay and other costs. "It really blows my mind that they did this," said Baltimore-based attorney Steven D. Silverman, who represents Gross.
NEWS
By Anne Colt Leitess | August 19, 2014
Editor's note: This article has been updated from an earlier version Criminal trials typically end once the jury returns its verdict. The attorneys move on to their next cases, unless appeal is pursued, and the debate ends. Unfortunately, that has not been the case after the recent trial of State v. Joseph Walker in Anne Arundel County. An Anne Arundel County grand jury indicted the defendant in this case for murder and other offenses after a Maryland State Police investigation revealed strong evidence that the defendant shot and killed an unarmed man during a road rage incident.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 18, 2014
Victoria F. "Vickie" Gelfman, a prosecutor in the Howard County state's attorney's office whose blog posts about her struggle with acute myeloid leukemia served as an inspiration to others, died Friday of the disease at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Ellicott City resident was 31. "Vickie was such a shining star. She was very gifted, talented and had a warm spirit," said Howard County District Judge Pamila J. Brown. "She had a wonderful spirit and a pleasant demeanor. And as a prosecutor, she represented the state so well.
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