Teacher is indicted on sexual abuse charge
A Howard County grand jury has indicted a Glenwood Middle School music teacher on a charge of sexual child abuse based on allegations made by a 27-year-old woman who was his student at Centennial High School in 1981.
The indictment was handed up late Thursday against Donald Barry Cohen, 45, of Columbia, who was arrested on the charge earlier this month.
His lawyer, Jonathan Scott Smith, has criticized the police's handling of the investigation and questioned the motives of Mr. Cohen's former student, now a music teacher in Texas.
"This is stretching it, to say the least," Mr. Smith said.
"This is a 10-year period of time. . . . Where has she been for 10 years? It seems a waste of resources when the police already have their hands full. It also is a case which is clearly vindictive on the part of the woman. The police are aware she has an ax to grind," Mr. Smith said.
Sgt. Fred McHargue, supervisor of the child abuse unit, challenged the defense lawyer's comments yesterday. He said there was "no evidence of any vindictiveness on part of the victim. The woman only brought this up after years of therapy. The victim made the report based on her concern for others and not for any personal reasons."
L Mr. Cohen is free on his own recognizance pending his trial.
Pikesville businessman indicted in murder scheme
A 58-year-old Pikesville businessman has been indicted by a Howard County grand jury on charges of soliciting an undercover state trooper to kill an employee and then dispose of the victim's body and his 1986 Oldsmobile in a car crusher.
The indictment was handed up late Thursday against Manuel Samuel Fram of the 6200 block of Park Heights Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. He was charged with solicitation of murder and attempted murder.
State police identified Mr. Fram as the owner of Fram Monument Co. Inc. of Pikesville.
Mr. Fram, who was arrested Jan. 18 on the solicitation charges, remains free on $100,000 property bond.
According to court documents, Mr. Fram paid $10,000 to Cpl. Frank D. Walters, who was working undercover in the role of a killer for hire, to kill an employee at the monument company who he claimed was blackmailing him.
The statement of charges said Mr. Fram made $5,000 payments to the undercover trooper on Jan. 16 and Jan. 18 at a Jessup motel.
Warrant names suspect in guardsman's death
Baltimore police are searching for a 31-year-old West Baltimore man in the slaying of a Maryland National Guardsman during an argument Thursday night outside a Northwest Baltimore tavern.
Michael Braxton, 31, of the 3100 block of Denison Street is charged in a warrant with first-degree murder and a felony handgun violation, said Agent Arlene K. Jenkins, a police spokeswoman.
The victim, Sgt. Orlando Thaddeus Davis, 27, of the 2300 block of McCulloh Street, had been standing outside a tavern in the 2200 block of Reisterstown Road about 10:15 p.m. when a man approached, engaged him in an argument, then pulled a handgun and shot him once in the chest.
An arrest warrant was obtained for Mr. Braxton several hourlater, police said.
Capt. Michael O. Milord, a spokesman for the Maryland National Guard, said Sergeant Davis had been a member of the 135th Mobile Aerial Port Flight of the Maryland Air National Guard since 1986.
An air transportation specialist, he had been activated Dec. 2and was working at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware loading cargo planes bound for the Persian Gulf, Captain Milord said.