Rudolph Jericho Smith Enters Alford Plea

FREDERICK – Today in Frederick County Circuit Court, Rudolph Jericho Smith, age 37, of Frederick, MD entered an Alford plea to 3 Counts of Second Degree Assault and 3 Counts of Knowingly Attempting to Transfer HIV. Sentencing was postponed at the request of both the State and Defense. An Alford plea is a type of guilty plea, where the Defendant does not formally admit guilt, but acknowledges that the State has sufficient evidence to convict them. Sentencing for Smith is scheduled for November 4th, 2019 at 9am before the Honorable Judge Julia Martz-Fisher. Smith will remain held without bond at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center until sentencing.

The Frederick Police Department began an investigation into Rudolph Smith during the summer of 2017, when separate women disclosed their belief that Rudolph Smith had infected them with HIV. Considerable time in the investigation was spent trying to determine whether or not Mr. Smith was HIV positive, and whether he was aware of that fact. It was eventually established that Rudolph Smith was aware that he was HIV-positive but continued to have unprotected sex with women without informing them of his status.

In response to the plea agreement, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented, “The facts of this case are still very disturbing to me. For someone to intentionally transmit a disease such as this is horrible. These victims will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.”

3 Arrested for Child Sex Abuse

FREDERICK- A joint investigation by the Maryland State Police and Frederick County Child Protective Services has led to the arrests of three employees at a special education day school and residential treatment center in Frederick County after they were indicted on child abuse and sexual assault charges.

 

The suspects are identified as Jermaine Thomas, 35, of Frederick, Md., Ariel Eppard, 27, of Hagerstown, Md., and Wesley Dean 32, of Montgomery Village, Md.  A Frederick County Grand Jury indicted the three suspects late last month.

 

Thomas is charged with 3 counts of Sex Abuse of a Minor and 7 counts of Child Pornography/Filming a Sex Act. Eppard is charged with 2 counts of Sex Abuse of a Minor, 2 counts of 4th degree sex offense (Person in position of authority) and 2 counts of a Court-ordered Provider Engaging in Sex Act. Dean is charged with 1 count of Sex Abuse of a Minor, 1 Count of 4th Degree Sex Offense(Person in position of authority), and 2 counts of Court-ordered Provider Engaging in Sex Act.

 

The indictment was served on Thomas this morning at the Frederick County Courthouse by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, after he agreed to turn himself in.  Eppard was arrested by Maryland State Police at a second job location in Hagerstown shortly before noon today.  Maryland State Police arrested Dean this afternoon in Montgomery County. All three have been taken to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center where they are being processed and will have an initial appearance before a court commissioner.

 

The suspects are charged with offenses involving a 17-year-old female and an 18-year-old female, both of whom were students at the time of the incidents at The Jefferson School, in Jefferson, Md.  The Maryland State Police does not identify victims of sexual assault.

 

On June 5, 2019, the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division was contacted by the Frederick County Child Protective Services concerning allegations of child sexual offenses occurring at The Jefferson School.  An immediate joint investigation was initiated by the State Police and Child Protective Services.

 

The investigation developed information and evidence that indicates Thomas and Eppard committed sexual assaults involving one victim on multiple occasions both on and off the school campus.  Information indicates Dean committed sexual offenses involving both victims on the school campus.  The offenses involving the three suspects are alleged to have begun in late 2018 and continued into this year.  Investigators learned each suspect was a staff member at the school involved in the supervision of students in the residential area.

 

Investigators from the Maryland State Police and Child Protective Services presented their investigation to the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.  Chief Assistant State’s Attorney Tammy Leache took the evidence to the Frederick County Grand Jury who subsequently chose to indict the three defendants.

 

 

The investigation is continuing.

Ean Davis-Lattimore Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter

FREDERICK – On Wednesday August 7th, 2019, Ean Davis-Lattimore, age 18, of Frederick entered a guilty plea to Voluntary Manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of Genesis McCarter-Berretto, and wounding of a juvenile male victim. The Honorable Judge Julie Stevenson Solt sentenced Davis-Lattimore to 10 years in the Division of Corrections.
In the early morning hours of May 13, 2018, police were called to a house in the 1800 Block of Weybridge Road in Frederick for reports of a shooting. Upon arrival, police found two shooting victims. An 18-year-old female victim identified as Genesis McCarter-Berretto was suffering from a gunshot wound to the neck. Police and EMS officials attempted to treat the victim, but she was pronounced dead on scene. A juvenile male victim was taken an area hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg.
Witnesses told detectives that Davis-Lattimore had been attending a party at the house on Weybridge Road when a physical altercation occurred. The altercation found its way outside to the front of the home where witnesses described Davis-Lattimore firing a gun in the direction of the house. Eight shell casings were recovered from the front driveway of the residence. Additionally, bullet holes were found on the front of the home. Davis-Lattimore was identified by witnesses and admitted to detectives that he was at the party and got into an altercation.

The State was represented by Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith III and Chief of Felony Violent Crimes Division Kelly Bruton.

Ean Davis-Lattimore

Milton Orellana Sentenced for 2015 Murder and Rape

FREDERICK- This afternoon, the Honorable Judge Julie Solt sentenced Milton Arnoldo Orellana, age 26, of Frederick to 70 years for 1st degree rape, 30 years concurrent for 2nd degree murder, and concurrent to his 30 year attempted murder sentence in another case, which he is already serving. In her remarks, Judge Solt spoke to the family of the victim, Gloria Watson, stating, “The court feels your pain, it feels your sorrow.”

Police were called to the apartment of Gloria Watson on June 3, 2015 after her son and grandson found her deceased in the apartment. Family members had become concerned when they had not heard from her for several days, and her son stopped to check on her. He found his mother dead with substantial injuries to her body. The medical examiner ruled the cause of death as homicide, and there was evidence of sexual assault. DNA evidence was recovered from the scene but no match was found in the database, although the DNA did match that of another unsolved crime being investigated by the Frederick Police Department. The victim in the other case identified her assailant as a Hispanic male, and Ms. Watson had several friends who were Hispanic. These friends cooperated with the investigation, and their DNA did not match that of the suspect. However, one of those friends knew of another Hispanic male who knew Ms. Watson and had been to her home, and that was the defendant, Milton Orellana. Police interviewed Mr. Orellana, who admitted he had last seen the victim around May 31, 2015, and he had visited her in her home that date. He claimed they were just friends and they had not engaged in any sexual contact. He voluntarily provided a DNA sample, which matched that of the suspect in this case. He was subsequently charged.

In the transcript of his interview with the police, Mr. Orellana indicated he and Gloria Watson had argued about money, but he did not remember much because he was drunk. He stated she pushed him, and he fell on top of some things, and the wall. He did not know why he killed her, because he lost consciousness.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith responded to the sentence, “This was a tragedy for that family and neighborhood. However, I am glad the family has the certainty in knowing that the defendant will be in prison for a very, very long time. The prosecutors worked very hard at coming to this resolution, and it’s one that the family is pleased with.”

The State was represented by Deputy State’s Attorney Kirsten Brown, Chief Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Moore, and Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle Kane.

Prosecutor Lindy Angel Retires After Nearly 30 Years

Frederick– Today marks the final day at the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office for longtime prosecutor Lindy Angel. Born in Hollywood, California, she moved east to Maryland. In 1975, Angel worked as a high school intern for the SAO. Thanks to her positive experience, she was recruited by a commissioner to interview for a Frederick District Court Clerk job. She worked hard as a Clerk, pairing a full-time day job with a demanding law school schedule driving to Baltimore at night. In May 1988, she graduated in the top 10% of her class at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Following her graduation, she worked as a judicial clerk for Judge William W. Wenner in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

June of 1990 proved to be a turning point in Lindy’s career. She was hired as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Frederick County by former State’s Attorney Lawrence Dorsey. As a District Court prosecutor, she worked hard to handle the demanding dockets for misdemeanor and motor vehicle cases. It was when Angel was promoted to the Circuit Court Child Abuse Unit that she found her calling. Defending victims of child abuse, sexual assault, and family violence became a personal and passionate mission in her life.

In reflecting on her time at the State’s Attorney’s Office, Angel commented, “ There are so many people that have influenced my career as a prosecutor, I learned so much from so many just watching and soaking it all in. Judge Wenner stands out as having shaped my lawyering the most. Being a prosecutor is without question the best job ever. It carries tremendous responsibility, and I can say that the job gave back to me all that I gave the job, and more. The best part is the children that our office and agency colleagues have helped. So many faces I will never forget.”

Lindy is grateful to State’s Attorney Charlie Smith for his leadership and example in helping to construct her courtroom presentation. “Charlie is a really good trial attorney, and a really good cross-examiner. Watching him is how I honed my cross-examine skills,” Angel reflected.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith expressed his gratitude for Lindy’s hard work in pursuing justice for victims stating, “Lindy is one of the most accomplished family violence prosecutors in the State. She leaves a legacy of knowledge, passion and tenacity, and has set the bar for prosecutors to come. The Office will surely miss her friendship, experience, and knowledge.”

 

Lindy is looking forward to continuing her public service in Frederick County. She will start a new job as a District Court Commissioner at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center in two weeks.

 

The State’s Attorney’s Office would like to thank Lindy Angel for her dedication to public safety over the past 30 years. We are grateful for the sacrifices that our staff members make in the pursuit of justice and defense of victims.

 

 

J. Charles Smith III

State’s Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland

 

Emmitsburg Man Sentenced for Rape

FREDERICK-  This morning, the Honorable Judge Scott Rolle sentenced John Warren Compton, 37, of Emmitsburg, MD to 30 years in prison, suspending all but 10 years. The sentence comes after the defendant entered an Alford plea, acknowledging that the State had sufficient evidence to convict him. The plea agreement is for two counts of 3rd degree sex offense, and one count of sexual solicitation of a minor. Judge Rolle imposed additional conditions upon Compton’s release from prison. He must register as a Tier 2 sex offender for 25 years, 5 years supervised probation, have no contact with the victim or minor females under age 16, as well as undergo psychosexual evaluation, testing, and monitoring.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith reacted to the plea stating, “It’s guys like this that we would like to put in jail forever. However, we have to balance the interest and well-being of the victim and her parents. Having to testify at trial and endure a possible appeal can often be very difficult. Notwithstanding that, we must seek a substantial prison sentence for these offenders.”

According to charging documents, Compton met the victim on Snapchat in July 2018. The defendant told the 12-year-old female victim that he was only two years older than she was. In August 2018, an arrangement was made for Compton to pick up the victim from her grandparents address in Gettysburg. The victim believed based on his stated age that he would be driven there by his parents. He subsequently took the victim back to his home in Emmitsburg and had sexual intercourse with the victim.

The State was represented by Assistant State’s Attorney Tammy Leache. The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case with assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police.

 

John Warren Compton

Frederick County Creates New Mental Health Court

FREDERICK- On July 8th, 2019, the Maryland Court of Appeals approved the creation of the Frederick County District Mental Health Court. The new Problem Solving Court will serve defendants affected by mental health issues. It will be one of only a handful of Mental Health Courts in the State of Maryland. Currently, Frederick County also has a Drug Treatment Court. Creating innovative solutions to work with offenders has been a top priority for Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith.

 

Smith commented, “This has been a passion of mine for many years. Unfortunately, previous attempts were unsuccessful. We now have all of the pieces in place to launch what I consider a legacy program in Frederick County.” One of the greatest challenges facing the criminal justice system has always been recidivism rates. Smith added, “The revolving door involving these offenders was quite frankly frustrating. We would prosecute them, incarcerate them, and they would be back out on the streets doing the same offenses. I consider this crime fighting and an improvement to our public safety.”

 

Following the closure of many state mental hospitals in the 1980s, jurisdictions around the country struggled with mentally ill offenders. Starting in the 1990s, the criminal justice system found few alternatives to incarceration. With only a small number of mental health facilities in operation, the hope was offenders would get some form of therapy or medication while behind bars. In reality, the system was unable to provide that level of treatment. Problem Solving Courts are designed to provide treatment and accountability, so offenders can be rehabilitated while in our community.

 

The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office has observed high recidivism with defendants with mental illness repeatedly arrested for low-level offenses such as shoplifting, trespassing, vandalism or disorderly conduct. Our case management system calculated 845 individual cases between 36 defendants over the last three years, averaging of 23 cases per individual.

 

State’s Attorney Smith believes these Problem Solving Courts not only aid offenders in getting their life back on track, but it helps the taxpayers as well. The goal is simple, treat mental health and substance abuse issues so that offenders have the necessary resources to return to our community as productive law-abiding citizens.

 

Joyce King, Smith’s Chief Counsel, was instrumental in getting the proposal submitted to the Judicial Council Committee on Specialty Courts. Following the approval, the State of Maryland awarded $100,000 for the first fiscal year of operations to fund a full-time Mental Health Court Coordinator and Clinician, as well as a part-time panel Public Defender. All of this could not have been possible without the assistance and cooperation of the Hon. Judge Dino Flores, Hon. Judge Earl Bartgis, Mary Riley of the Maryland Public Defenders Office, Hilari Young of Parole and Probation, Andrea Walker of the Local Behavioral Health Authority, and all partners of the Mental Health Public Safety Collaborative Committee.

 

The Frederick County Mental Health Court hopes to be operational by Fall 2019 after the positions are filled by Behavioral Health Services Division/Local Behavioral Health Authority of the Frederick County Health Department.

Samantha Guthrie Held Without Bond

Travis James Eddins Sentenced for 1st Degree Rape

FREDERICK- On Thursday, June 20, 2019, Travis James Eddins, 39, of Frederick, MD was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Scott L. Rolle to Life with all but 40 years suspended in the Division of Corrections after his conviction for 1st Degree Rape on August 2, 2018. Upon release from the Division of Corrections, he must undergo 5 years of supervised probation, and register as a sex offender for life.

 

On December 8, 2017, the victim in this case reported to police that she was raped by Travis Eddins inside a tent, located off Highland Street in Frederick during the early morning hours. The victim and her boyfriend had slept in the tent with Eddins the night before, but when her boyfriend left for work in the morning, she was left alone with Eddins. The victim stated that Eddins choked her to the point of blacking out, and threatened her life. He then proceeded to rape her. She was treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital for injuries consistent with near fatal strangulation. DNA evidence, which linked the defendant to the victim, was crucial to this case.

 

The State was represented by Assistant State’s Attorneys Tammy Leache and Kyle Kane.

Travis James Eddins

MD Court of Special Appeals Affirms Mallik Conviction

FREDERICK- The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has upheld the conviction of Abe Arjun Mallik on 11 counts of possession of child pornography. The charges stemmed from an investigation launched in March of 2016 by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office acting on a “cyber tip” from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Detectives determined through IP providers and email accounts that the reported material came from Mallik’s home in Point of Rocks, Frederick County. Upon reviewing Google business records, detectives found communications with minor females and eight images of confirmed child pornography were identified as being uploaded to an attachment using the defendant’s e-mail address. A search warrant revealed more than 200 images of child erotica on the defendant’s laptop along with 3 confirmed images of child pornography. On June 2, 2017, a Frederick Circuit Court jury rendered a guilty verdict on all counts against Mallik. He was given a 10-year suspended sentence and ordered to register as a Tier-1 Sex Offender for 15 years.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals took up five questions for review. Mallik argued that a State expert witness should not have been allowed to testify. However, the Appeals Court found that an objection to the witness needed to happen immediately. Second, Mallik argued that the State should not have been allowed to admit evidence of a non-pornographic nature. This pertained to the images of child

erotica found on the defendant’s computer. The Appeals Court found that all “relevant evidence is admissible”. The State maintained that, “knowing possession of the illegal images because they established a pattern of prurient interest in children and negated the defense that he was hacked.” Mallik’s defense team wanted to include a question about if prospective jurors had “strong feelings” toward pornography in general. The Appeals Court found that the court maintains the right to considerable discretion during jury selection. On Day 3 of the trial, Mallik’s defense sought a mistrial on grounds that a prospective juror, who is an attorney, reported a judge talking to jurors about the probable trial duration and how the defendant had not shown up for court. The court found that “sufficient voir dire of the jury concerning the effect of the judge’s communication, the responses from the jury denying any influence by the communication, and appellant’s failure to thereafter challenge the court’s choice of remedies or its denial of the motion for mistrial, we can find no error in the court’s denial of the motion.” Finally, Mallik contended that the court erred when it permitted the State, on the first day of trial, to amend the date for three of the 11 charges in the charging document. He contended that the laptop on which the additional 3 images were found had not even been bought yet as of the earlier date. The Court of Appeals has held that “‘[a]n amendment that constitutes merely a ‘matter of form’ does not change the character of the offense.” Mallik does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the convictions.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith commented on the Appeals Court decision stating, “Mallik received a fair trial. He took his shot at an appeal and he lost. Now he has to deal with the consequences of his behavior, and that’s living as a Tier I sex offender.”