Bail is reduced to $400,000 for man accused of killing friend two years ago

A Howard County judge reduced the bail yesterday for a man who has been jailed for nearly two years on charges that he killed a longtime friend in a dispute over drugs.

Circuit Judge James Dudley set bail at $400,000 -- down from $750,000 -- in a written ruling yesterday in the case of Troy Lynn Brooks, who is charged with first-degree murder in the execution-style slaying of a Baltimore man.


At a hearing yesterday, Baltimore lawyer William H. Murphy Jr. argued that bail for Mr. Brooks should be reduced because an appeal in the state courts likely would clear his client.

Mr. Murphy said his client's family would be able to post two properties as bond.


But Senior Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Murtha opposed Mr. Murphy's request, noting that Mr. Brooks' bail had been reduced once already.

"The filing of an appeal by the defendant does not make the defendant any less a risk to abscond the jurisdiction or lessen the risk of dangerousness that the defendant poses to the community," Mr. Murtha said in a written response to the bail reduction request.

Mr. Brooks, 29, of Rockdale in Baltimore County initially was held without bail after his arrest Oct. 27, 1992.

In February 1993, his bail was set at $750,000.

He is accused of shooting Kevin Lee Holland, 27, of Baltimore twice in the head outside the Woodstock post office Oct. 10, 1992.

He went to trial in February, but the proceedings ended in a mistrial after Judge Dudley and Mr. Murphy got into an argument in front of the jury. Prosecutors announced they intended to retry Mr. Brooks, but Mr. Murphy then tried to get his client's indictment dismissed.

Mr. Murphy argued at a hearing in May that Judge Dudley had no grounds to declare the mistrial so the prosecution should not be permitted to take Mr. Brooks to trial again.

Judge Raymond Kane Jr. denied Mr. Murphy's request, and the attorney appealed his ruling to the state Court of Special Appeals.


The appellate court has not issued a ruling on the appeal.

A co-defendant in the slaying, Linwood Taylor Jr. of Baltimore, is serving 15 years in prison for second-degree murder as part of a plea agreement in July 1993.

The agreement requires Taylor to testify against Mr. Brooks.

At Mr. Brooks' trial in February, Taylor testified that Mr. Brooks shot Mr. Holland twice in the head because the victim had smoked crack cocaine that Mr. Brooks intended to sell.