Freed inmate is suspect in car theft


One of seven women whose murder sentences were commuted last February by Gov. William Donald Schaefer after being persuaded that they were battered by their mates has been arrested and charged with auto theft.

Patricia Ann Washington, 34, who stabbed her husband to death in their Hyattsville apartment in 1988, was arrested in the recent case Jan. 15 in the 600 block of Gorsuch Avenue, three blocks from Marian House, the Northeast Baltimore halfway house where she now lives, court documents show.

Washington was a passenger in a 1987 Oldsmobile reported stolen on New Year's Day in Ohio, according to a statement of charges.

A Baltimore police officer stopped the car after spotting it in a secluded parking lot near Memorial Stadium and followed the vehicle after it moved on. A check of the license tag showed that the car was stolen.

Washington was charged with theft of more than $300 and released on her own recognizance Jan. 16 from the Baltimore Women's Detention Center after appearing before a court commissioner.

The driver of the car, Georgette Ocatavia Braxton, 30, of the 3600 block of West Franklin Street, also was arrested and charged with theft of more than $300. A week before the arrest, Ms. Braxton's probation on a 1990 theft charge ended. She remains in the Baltimore Women's Detention Center in lieu of $5,000 bail, officials said.

Susan G. Kaskie, a spokeswoman for the Division of Parole and Probation, the agency supervising Washington until the year 2013, said the Maryland Parole Commission is aware of the arrest, which in itself could be a violation of the terms of her parole. But, Ms. Kaskie said, the commission would not consider the possibility of action on Washington's parole until after her trial, now set for Feb. 18 in Baltimore District Court.

Washington had served just more than two years of a 30-year sentence, with five years suspended, for second-degree murder when Mr. Schaefer commuted her sentence.

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