Ronald Paulley was charged in four cases, all set for a jury trial yesterday. Among other charges, he was charged with burglarizing someone’s house on October 12, 2012 and again on October 21, 2012.
Did Dan Powell hold out for felony convictions? Of course not. Paulley was allowed to plead out to four misdemeanor theft counts.
Instead of facing decades in prison? Paulley now just faces a few months in jail.
The sanctity of the home is something you hope that will be protected in Somerset County. But we have an elected State’s Attorney who is content to let one person get away with two burglaries without much in terms of consequences.
Not much work will be done by Stet’s Attorney Dan Powell this week as he heads to Ocean City with much of his staff.
Before he left town, however, Dan cleared his docket by closing some of the major cases pending in circuit court.
Kevin Tyler was charged with two counts of felony assault and four weapons charges. All of his charges were dismissed on June 3, 2013
Breon Ayres and Tavone Cropper were charged with Armed Robbery and Assault and five weapons charges. All of their charges were dismissed on June 6, 2013.
Troy Durham on June 3, 2013, filed a new lawsuit, seeking a Writ of Mandamus, in the Circuit Court for Somerset County naming as defendants all of the sitting county commissioners, the county administrator, and the county treasurer.
According to the internet a “writ of mandamus” is “an extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official’s discretion; used only when all other judicial remedies fail.”
So instead of money, Durham is looking for a court order requiring Somerset County officials (not the sheriff) to do something, which we assume is to give him his job back and fully reinstate him as a police officer, which means giving him a badge, a gun, and a cruiser.
If you who don’t know, a law was just signed that doubled the sentence for accessories to murders. It was called the Sheddy-Bennett Act and named in honor of two murdered women from the Shore, whose bodies were hidden by accessories that only faced 5 years for their actions. Now they can get 10 years.
When it mattered earlier this Spring, Dan Powell didn’t testify in favor of this law, but he was quick to try to grab the spotlight when it was signed into law just recently. When the cameras were pointed his way, Dan Powell acted like he supported maximum penalties for people who help someone cover up a murder. His grinning face managed to weasel its way into just about every picture of the bill signing.
This week, when the cameras were turned off and no one was looking, Dan Powell had a chance to put his money where his mouth is and show how tough he is on accessories. On Tuesday, was the case of Steve Akers, who with Claude Hill, was charged with hiding the body of one of the women the new law was named for. Did Dan Powell insist that Akers admit his wrongdoing? No. Did Dan Powell make sure the maximum sentence under the old law was given? No. What did he do? He pleaded it down to a 1 year sentence and even dropped the two most serious charges. Akers even got to do an Alford plea.
In the words of another State’s Attorney, Mr. Oglesby from Worcester County, this new law was supposed to help prosecutors answer a family’s question “Why so little time?”
In Somerset County, we already have an answer. When families ask “why so little time?” we just tell them: “Dan Powell is our State’s Attorney. That’s why.”
As seen from the comments below, families of murder defendants are very happy with Dan Powell and how soft he is on their relatives.
Funny, we don’t hear any praise from the families of victims
Six people have been charged in the gang-related murder of Thomas Lane Edwards. Not one has been convicted of murder. Four defendants had their cases dismissed. A week ago, Dan Powell couldn’t get a jury to convict Elijah Gerald, after a two-day trial.
Yesterday, Barry Bourckel got a sweetheart deal for involuntary manslaughter in the slaying of Thomas Lane Edwards. Yes, in Dan Powell’s mind, pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger, killing them, is an involuntary act. These things just happen, right? The person who pulls the trigger just does so accidentally. He didn’t mean to do it.
Instead of facing a significant sentence for the murder of Edwards, Bourckel will get, at most, ten years, but will be out in three. Dan Powell didn’t even make Bourckel say he did anything wrong, letting him do an Alford plea, which doesn’t accept responsibility.
Six people charged. Four freed. One case hung. One case pled down to invountary. One man is dead, killed in an execution (Dan Powell’s words). No one has been convicted of murder.
Do you feel safe, Somerset County?
In 2011, Alexander Dejarnette and three others were charged in a double shooting in Crisfield that Chief Mike Tabor described as a “running gun battle.” Showing how seriously he took such cases, when Dan Powell got his hands on the case, he promptly placed the charges against Dejarnette on the stet docket. Yes, a person who shot a gun at someone got a stet.
Just yesterday, formal charges against Alexander Dejarnette were filed in the Circuit Court for Somerset County, charging the same gunman freed by Powell with various sex offense, felony assault, and false imprisonment charges. These charges stem from a March 22, 2013 incident. Originally, Dejarnette was charged with other felonies, a first and third degree sex offense, but Dan Powell lost these charges at the preliminary hearing in district court.
Of course, if Dan Powell had done his job, Alexander Dejarnette would still be in prison for his role in the Crisfield double shooting of 2011.