Maryland electronic court records show Colbert has had extensive contacts with the criminal justice system dating to 1999 when he was 18.
He pleaded guilty Jan. 18, 2000 in Harford County Circuit Court to attempted robbery in a case where he faced a total of 18 similar counts including burglary, attempted armed robbery, assault, a gun law violation, and malicious destruction of property. Under the plea arrangement, court records indicate, the other 17 charges were dropped.
On July 31, 2003, he pleaded guilty in Harford County Circuit Court to drug manufacturing or distributing and was sentenced to serve 10 years, on line court records say.
On Feb. 16, 2005, Colbert pleaded guilty in Harford County Circuit Court to possession of drugs with the intention of distributing them and was sentenced to serve five years of a 12 year term with the balance being suspended or credited for time served. At the time, he was listed as having a Perryman address, court records say.
In September 2005, while incarcerated in the Western Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, he was charged with second degree assault on a correctional officer and second degree assault, though court record say the charges ended up being dropped.
On Aug. 8 of this year, he was charged with driving without the require license or authorization, a case in which he was granted probation before judgment, a finding of guilt, court records say.
Less than two weeks before he was arrested on the murder charge Tuesday, Colbert was charged by criminal summons on Nov. 30, 2012 in a Harford County case with possession of marijuana, possession of a drug other than marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia, on line court records say. A preliminary court date of Feb. 20, 2013 in Harford County District Court had been set in that case.
Mayor compliments police response
Bel Air mayor Eddie Hopkins said via e-mail Wednesday that Bel Air has an aggressive police response to serious crimes..
"Aggressive patrol, response and investigation by the Bel Air Police Department, using resources from the Harford County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police, resulted in an arrest within 48 hours of the crime," Hopkins said.
"While this may not totally lessen the anxiety of our residents, it should provide a sense of relief knowing that our police quickly removed a violent offender from the community and one we believe will be held accountable for the victim's death," he said. "I have every confidence that Bel Air remains a very safe community."
Hopkins noted Bel Air has been "extremely fortunate" to have so few violent crimes and the current pace is not the norm.
"It is disappointing, though, to have seen several murders committed within a short period of time," he said. "Having said that, our community needs to understand (and I think they do) that Bel Air, like many other communities throughout the nation, are not immune from crime."
What matters in this case, Hopkins wrote, is "an aggressive investigative response by police."