Frederick Officer Arrested in Garrett County Assault
Frederick Police say one of their own, Officer Benjamin Whitmore, was arrested and charged with second-degree assault in Garrett County on Tuesday. There were no specifics on the incident, but it is known that Officer Whitmore's police powers have been suspended. An investigation is being conducted by the Garrett County Sheriff's Department; there will also be a separate internal investigation by Frederick Police.
Woman Sentenced to 8 Years Home Detention
A Garrett County woman was sentenced to eight years of home detention, with four years suspended. Miranda White had been accused of attempted second-degree murder and other counts in connection with an incident in March of last year. White is accused of assaulting her former boyfriend. she struck him with a car, then crashed the vehicle into the Cornish Cafe. She was also ordered to make restitution to both the victim and the business.
Shearin "Surprised," Union Officials Praise Former Warden
Former NBCI Warden Bobby Shearin says he was surprised to have been replaced at the prison, and union leaders say employees are "puzzled" by the move. For his part, Shearin-who placed the inmates there on lockdown for weeks following the stabbing of a correctional officer-Shearin says he had been gradually lifting those restrictions, but state officials were unsatisfied with the pace. The officers' union praised Shearin's record at the prison, but the former warden says he was disappointed that he couldn't "finish what he started." He had been on the job since 2009.
Three Potomac Center Employees Fired
Three employees of the Potomac Center have been fired and 50 have been laid off so far. The executive director of the West Virginia Behavioral Health Care Providers Association, Mark Drennan, says "demeaning and degrading acts" were experienced by the children, and West Virginia State Police characterize them as acts of physical and sexual abuse. The program is a 6 to 24 month residential stay for kids between the ages of 5 and 17, who have developmental disabilities and behavioral issues.
Man Arrested on Paraphenalia Charges
A Keyser man, Paul Harland Ellis, was arrested Tuesday evening on Industrial Boulevard, and charged with possession of CDS paraphernalia. Ellis had originally been stopped for speeding, and admitted to officers he had a pipe in his pocket; the pipe had a small amount of marijuana residue in it. While searching his vehicle, another pipe with burnt cocaine residue in it, was found. He was taken to police headquarters, issued a criminal citation and released.
Former Correctional Officer Won't Be Retried
Former Roxbury Corrections Officer Josh Hummer will not face any further charges, in connection with a 2008 incident in which inmate Kenneth Davis was beaten by other officers. Davis had been, at one time, housed at the Allegany County Detention Center. Hummer was acquitted last week of violating Davis' civil rights by failing to stop other officers from beating him. Hummer was, however, convicted of lying to state police, and faces up to 20 years in prison on that count. He is one of 15 officers indicted in the case.
Lawmakers Consider Contraband Penalties
Maryland lawmakers are considering stiffer penalties for bringing in or receiving contraband cell phones in correctional centers. The measures are being considered following the contraband conspiracy at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where 44 people were indicted last year; that number includes 27 correctional officers. One proposal would increase the penalty for providing a cell phone to a detained person from three to five years, and making it a felony, rather than misdemeanor. In a separate proposal, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services would like to see the use of a polygraph test on correctional officers as a condition of their employment.
Testing Bill Being Proposed in Annapolis
Delegate Eric Luedtke is sponsoring legislation that would cancel this spring's Maryland School Assessments. States can request a waiver on the testing. Luedtke says there is good reason parents, teachers and others support the move, as Common Core curriculum roll-outs around the state would make the long-used assessments inaccurate. Delegate Luedtke admits the state is in a tough spot, because of the requirement to test. He sees a benefit to a discussion, because the public has become so engaged in what's going on with education.