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Motion to kill evidence in case that killed girl, grandmother in Timonium is denied

Motion to kill evidence in case that killed girl, grandmother in Timonium is denied
Crash team investigators were on Girdwood Road at the intersection of Londonderry Road where a crash last year killed a woman and a child. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

A Baltimore County circuit court judge on Wednesday denied a motion to suppress evidence from a case where a grandmother and her 5-year-old granddaughter were killed when an SUV struck them last July.

Callie Noble Schwarzman, 23, was indicted in August 2018 on six counts in the deaths of 60-year-old Deborah Limmer and Delaney Gaddis. In addition to two counts of negligent manslaughter, Schwarzman is charged with knowingly driving an uninsured vehicle and driving under the influence.

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Limmer was walking with her granddaughter early in the morning on July 23 near Dulaney High School in Timonium, when an SUV veered onto the sidewalk and struck them, police said.

Patrick Preller, Schwarzman’s attorney, asked that body camera footage and statements from Schwarzman, along with the results of a blood test, be suppressed from her trial scheduled for Sept 16.

Preller argued that Schwarzman, of Timonium, was not at any point read her Miranda rights, so any statements she made to police after the accident, while she was in an ambulance or while she was in a hospital room were not admissible.

Judge Nancy M. Purpura, however, ruled that in all cases, Schwarzman made voluntary statements and that she was not in custody or detained, so Miranda did not apply, making the interviews — and body camera footage — admissible.

Preller argued that the blood test to screen for drugs that Schwarzman took should not be admissible because it was not conducted with a warrant. However, in body-worn camera footage, Schwarzman is seen consenting to a drug screen and saying she’d cooperate.

Purpura ruled the blood test — the results of which were not discussed in Wednesday’s hearing — were admissible.

Approached after the hearing, Preller declined comment.

In one video shown during the hearing, a distraught Schwarzman is seen approaching an officer at the scene of the accident and saying something about the power steering in her vehicle not working.

The officer continues walking toward the accident, where a completely flattened red stroller is visible next to the bent and broken body of Gaddis, who the officer said had already died.

The officer in the video then approaches Limmer, who the officer observes is at that point still breathing. The officer, Joshua Cramer, testified Wednesday that he stopped recording his body-worn camera when he knelt to assist Limmer. But, he said in court, she “slowly faded away.”

Schwarzman teared up when the first video was played and at multiple other points throughout the hearing.

Other videos during the hearing show Schwarzman being interviewed on a curb, briefly by a police officer and then chiefly by emergency medical personnel. She is escorted to an ambulance, where she continues to talk about the incident.

In a third set of videos, broken up because the officer stopped and started recording twice, Schwarzman breaks down upon learning both victims had died, consents to a blood test and says she had recently taken drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and Percocet, for which she said she had a prescription.

Schwarzman denied in the video that she was driving under the influence of any drugs, and a blood alcohol level test came back as 0.00. The results of the blood test were not discussed Wednesday.

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The defense also motioned to suppress photographs of the scene from the trial, but that was not argued in court. Rather, Purpura asked that the state’s attorney’s office and the defense try to reach an agreement, and ordered another hearing on Aug. 7 if no agreement is reached.

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