The last time former state health official John M. Staubitz Jr. faced some time behind bars, he fled to Las Vegas before a judge could sentence him.
Yesterday, Carroll District Judge Donald M. Smith gave him virtually no chance to flee again. The judge raised bail to for Mr. Staubitz on a dozen burglary charges in Carroll, Howard and Baltimore counties.
"We have evidence of [Mr. Staubitz's] flight after trial, and, although it was explained, the authority of the court was ignored at that time," Judge Smith said as he increased the bail for Mr. Staubitz from $100,000 at a prosecutor's request.
Judge Smith also raised bail from $100,000 to $500,000 for Mr. Staubitz's co-defendant, Robert Ernest Emmons Jr.
"The fact is that both of these defendants are on probation, which suggests it isn't likely the threat of further punishment would deter these men from further escapades," the judge said.
Mr. Staubitz, 45, and Mr. Emmons, 29, were arrested Sept. 24 and charged with breaking into four Carroll homes. The following week, Howard and Baltimore County police charged the pair in )) eight break-ins.
A former deputy state health secretary, Mr. Staubitz met Mr. Emmons last fall in prison while Mr. Staubitz was serving time for skimming thousands of dollars from the State Games amateur athletics program and Mr. Emmons was serving a sentence for misdemeanor theft. They kept in touch after they were freed.
Mr. Emmons has said he and Mr. Staubitz distributed alarms and personal safety devices. Mr. Staubitz also was selling houses for Coldwell Banker Grempler Realty Inc.
Police tracked the pair after Mr. Emmons allegedly tried to use a stolen credit card at the Owings Mills Mall. He led police to a Baltimore County storage locker, where guns, jewelry, silver and other property reported stolen were found. Police found other property at Mr. Staubitz's Woodlawn house and in Mr. Emmons' rental car.
A state police investigator who testified yesterday placed the value of stolen property at $100,000.
In May 1992, Mr. Staubitz unexpectedly pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit misconduct in office in the State Games case. He maintained his innocence, but said he'd decided not to stand trial because someone had fired shots at his car.
In July 1992, he failed to appear in Baltimore Circuit Court for sentencing. He was found in a Las Vegas hotel room three weeks later.
Explaining his nonappearance in court last year, Mr. Staubitz said yesterday that he was confused and scared at the time.
"I went through a lot of depression and just general confusion," Mr. Staubitz said.