Circuit Court judges hear lots of excuses about why people can't keep their parole appointments.
But on Wednesday, Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. heard one that persuaded him to give the defendant a break.
He found Mount Airy resident Gabriele M. Weeks, 36, guilty of a parole violation, but he accepted the reason she offered: her abusive 198-pound, 6-foot-2-inch boyfriend who kept her virtually captive, preventing her from meeting with her parole officer or holding a job, as her parole required.
"He kept her as a prisoner," Assistant Public Defender Judson K. Larrimore told the judge, adding that the boyfriend had pulled the telephone out of the wall when Ms. Weeks had tried to make a call.
Now, Mr. Larrimore said, "He is stalking her."
Judge Beck ruled that Ms. Weeks' parole arrangement would continue as before, with no penalty.
An arrest warrant was issued Oct. 18 for the boyfriend, Michael Leroy Hauck, 29, of Hampstead. He is charged with assaulting Ms. Weeks on July 21 and Oct. 6.
Court papers charge Mr. Hauck with shoving Ms. Weeks down a flight of steps in the July incident. She smashed into a toolbox, injuring her arm and back.
"He threatened to put a hit out on me if I pressed charges against him for either battery," Ms. Weeks said in court papers.
Ms. Weeks is serving five years' probation for a 1991 theft conviction involving property worth less than $300 from a parked vehicle.
She was called into court to face the violation because she had not reported to her parole officer since June 11, 1992 and had not been regularly employed since November 1991, although she had been told to seek employment.
Mr. Hauck has several past convictions for battery, a drug charge, malicious destruction of property and disturbing the peace, according to court papers.
In court Wednesday, Ms. Weeks told Judge Beck that she is pulling her life together.
"Everything has started to change," she said.
Ms. Weeks said she has gotten counseling.
She also said she encountered problems finding work because she was missing some paperwork she needed to prove her American citizenship.
She was born in Germany and has a German mother. However, she said she recently received the identification papers she needed to get a job.
Mr. Larrimore said Ms. Weeks acknowledges that she needs treatment for alcohol abuse, and that she is on a waiting list to enter a program at Shoemaker House.
He said she had been bumped from her place on the list recently by a pregnant woman who needed immediate treatment.