Officials move to revoke bonds of stabbing suspects after threats are reported


The Howard County court system should not have released three people charged with stabbing a Columbia man earlier this week, say court officials who will argue Monday for the suspects' bonds to be revoked.

The victim of the attack Sunday says that threats are being made against his life and that officials haven't done enough to ensure his safety.

Christine Gage, chief of the District Court division, said she filed a motion to revoke bail for the three suspects Monday, when the victim, Mark Golston, told officials he had received harassing phone calls.

On two occasions, anonymous callers laughed and said, "We're going to get you again" and "You didn't learn your lesson," Mr. Golston said, according to the court records.

He said in an interview that on Tuesday, at least one of the male suspects came to his home with another man, but were scared off by his dog.

Ms. Gage's motion asking for a bail hearing called Cynthia Hopewell, 26, Kevin Dale Coleman, 34, and Steve Jarrott, 39, a "danger to public safety" requiring "immediate action by the court."

The three Columbia residents are charged with assault with intent to maim and robbery with a deadly weapon.

At Monday's hearing, a judge will decide whether to jail the defendants before trial.

The District Court commissioner who released each defendant on a $3,000 unsecured bond Sunday was not aware of their records because a computer used to check suspects' criminal histories was not working during their bail hearings. Asked about their pasts, the three "misrepresented" themselves, the motion says.

District Court records show the three had previous brushes with police -- information that could have prevented their release on bail, had it been known to the court, Ms. Gage says.

The records show:

* Mr. Jarrott's computerized record in District Court was 98 pages long, dating back at least 11 years and including assault and disorderly conduct charges.

In September 1983, he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in Baltimore City, but served only eight days of a 90-day sentence, records show. In 1990, he was convicted of battery in Howard County. In July 1993, he was found guilty of an assault with a deadly weapon charge in Baltimore, for which he was sentenced to a year in prison, records show.

* Ms. Hopewell is on probation for operating a family day-care service without a license and for a misdemeanor theft conviction.

* Mr. Coleman was indicted on felony burglary charges in December 1993, but the disposition of that case could not be determined immediately.

L Mr. Golston says he fears for his safety before the hearing.

"I'm not going to die over somebody else's error," he said. "How are they going to just let somebody out of jail like that? That's unprofessional."

Mr. Golston said the court system has offered him no protection before Monday's hearing.

"They told me to wait until Monday," he said. "I could be dead by Monday."

Ms. Gage said the county has done its part to clear up the matter.

"We've made every effort to review the bond," Ms. Gage said. "I've instructed Mr. Golston to call the police if he fears for his safety."

Mr. Golston said in the interview that now he's fidgety and carries kitchen knives around his home in Columbia's Wilde Lake Village, fearful of another attack.

Last Sunday, he said, he was not expecting trouble at his former girlfriend's home.

Just before noon that day, Mr. Golston was at the house, about a block from where he lives with his mother.

He told police that Mr. Coleman, a friend of his, and Ms. Hopewell came to the door.

"We were talking, and they were completely normal," Mr. Golston said. After a short time, Ms. Hopewell went outside and returned with Mr. Jarrott, he said.

According to police reports, the three argued with Mr. Golston, and Mr. Jarrott knocked Mr. Golston to the floor. Mr. Golston was punched and kicked, stabbed and robbed of $80, police reports say. His attackers fled.

Officers arrested the suspects in a vehicle blocks away.

Mr. Golston was treated and released from Howard County General Hospital.

Mr. Golston said that the court system should take his assault case more seriously.

"I don't trust them, and I don't trust the system," Mr. Golston said.

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