Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lucy! You got some 'splaining to do!

Geeze! You know, I believe this happens more frequently than anyone would care to admit.
A case in my court, back when I was a judge, occurred when a prisoner, who had a hold on him for a "blue" warrant (a warrant for a parole violation) was inadvertently let out of the Bexar County jail. About 48 hours later, drunk as a skunk, he plowed into a vehicle on New years Eve, killing an 18 year old girl and severely injuring her fiance.

Prison's error led to wanted man's release

A clerical error by state prison officials led to the inadvertent release last month of a man who is a suspect in a brutal 1999 sexual assault in Glen Burnie.
Prison administrators admitted yesterday that a staffer overlooked a court order to hold 40-year-old Ronald Lee Moore when they released him on Nov. 21 from the Baltimore City Correctional Center.

Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services that runs the Baltimore prison, said the order "was not noticed due to human error."
"The commitment office handles well over 100,000 cases annually, keeping track of 14,000 intakes and releases every year; overseeing nearly 7,000 case reviews ... and monitoring the status of 24,000 incarcerated men and women on a daily basis," Mr. Vernarelli said "The job is very, very difficult."

Moore, of 3712 Lamberton Square, Silver Spring, is charged with first- and second-degree sex offense, unnatural or perverted practice, second degree assault, reckless endangerment, possession of a deadly weapon, and first-degree burglary. The charges stem from a cold case involving an October 1999 sexual assault during a Glen Burnie home invasion.

Police linked Moore to the home invasion in July 2006, after matching his DNA to semen left behind at the scene of the attack. State prison officials collected his DNA while he was serving time for a 2000 burglary conviction and inputted it into the FBI's Combined DNA Index.
According to charging documents, Moore broke into a Glen Burnie apartment on Green Bud Lane at about 1:45 a.m. Oct. 23, 1999, and sexually assaulted a woman inside.

Police said he was wearing a mask and gloves when he entered the apartment, moved the victim's two-year-old child from the master bedroom and told the woman if she made a noise he would kill her. Police said that while he sexually assaulted the woman, he punched her in the head several times and shocked her with a "cow prod."

At the time of the assault, police had no suspects and eventually suspended their investigation.
County police reopened the investigation after getting the DNA match and obtained a District Court arrest warrant on May 22 of this year. County sheriff's deputies sent a "detainer" to the Maryland Division of Corrections the following day in order to make sure prison officials didn't release Mr. Moore to the street.

That District Court detainer was recalled after Moore was indicted June 15 in Circuit Court - as is standard procedure.

Circuit Court Judge William C. Mulford issued a separate commitment order Oct. 9.
"It's unusual that he was released ... but I don't think anything was done out of the norm in Annapolis," said Maj. Rick Tabor of the county Sheriff's Department.

Police and prosecutors learned of Moore's release Friday, leading Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Rogers to immediately seek another warrant. Judge Mulford issued a "no bond" bench warrant Friday.

Mr. Vernarelli said the state Division of Correction also sought an escape retake warrant Friday.
Clerk of the Circuit Court Robert P. Duckworth said prison officials usually abide by commitment orders. He said he doesn't think Moore was released on purpose, but "it just shows lack of concern on their part. ... They, I guess, just didn't pay attention."

Moore served seven years in prison on a separate 2000 burglary conviction before he was released. According to online state court records, he pleaded guilty to two counts of felony burglary, one count of second-degree assault and one count of possession of a deadly weapon September 20, 2000, in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Moore is supposed to be on supervised probation for about six years for the 2000 burglary conviction. But while he showed up for his initial intake meeting in November with the Division of Parole and Probation, Moore has not met with a probation agent since then, Mr. Vernarelli said.

Moore is scheduled to go before a jury Feb. 5 for the Glen Burnie sexual assault case, but he currently does not have an attorney, according to Circuit Court records. Clark Ahlers of Columbia, Moore's private attorney, withdrew himself from the case Nov. 27, citing an "irreparable conflict of interest" that had arisen the day before. It is unclear how or where Mr. Ahlers met with Moore Nov. 26 since he was already released from prison at that point.

Moore has appeared in county courtrooms at least twice in regards to the sex offense case. He was arraigned July 2 in Circuit Court and appeared for a status conference Aug. 31, according to court records.

With Moore free, police are asking for citizens' help in locating him.
Sgt. Sara Schriver, county police spokesman, said the department's fugitive team is looking for him. She hopes media attention to the case will lead members of the community to call detectives and turn him over to police.

Sgt. Schriver described Moore as white, 6 feet 2 inches tall, and 260 pounds. He has blue eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Tracy Morgan at 410-222-3466 or 410-222-8610.