Assault charges against Basu killer dropped Solomon is said to pose security risk


Howard County prosecutors will not pursue charges against convicted killer Rodney Eugene Solomon for assaulting two correctional officers because he poses too much of a security risk to bring to court.

Prosecutors dropped three counts of assaulting a correctional officer -- filed against Solomon while he was awaiting trial in the Pam Basu carjacking murder -- in Howard Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Solomon, convicted of first-degree murder in August, was sentenced to life plus 80 years in prison for Dr. Basu's slaying. The 27-year-old Washington man is not eligible for parole.

"I consider him to be a very dangerous individual," Howard State's Attorney William R. Hymes said.

Mr. Hymes explained that the charges, although serious, do not outweigh the risk that Solomon could escape while being transported from the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore to the county District Court building for a trial.

The county and state's resources would have been spread too thin to guard Solomon if prosecutors pursued the charges, Mr. Hymes said.

He added that Solomon's sentence for the murder charge is already severe.

"And we're going to add a $25 fine to it?" Mr. Hymes asked. "It doesn't quite make sense."

In the assault cases, Solomon is accused of throwing a cup of urine in the face of a guard at the county Detention Center in Jessup on Jan. 15.

In addition, Solomon is accused of throwing urine and feces at a guard who refused to give him extra juice on Feb. 16, according to court records. Solomon also allegedly threatened the guard from inside his cell, saying, "Come closer to these bars and see what I will do to you with my hands," records state.

A week later, on Feb. 23, Solomon allegedly threw urine and milk at the same guard while he was conducting a security round, records state.

The charge of assaulting a correctional officer carries no specific sentence. But judges are permitted to sentence a defendant convicted of the crime to up to 20 years in prison.

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