Prosecutors seek bond revocation

Carroll prosecutors are seeking to revoke the unsecured bond of a Westminster man -- who last month was accused of attacking a woman less than a week after a Carroll judge allowed him out of jail -- until he can be tried on charges that he tried to rape and kidnapped the same woman in January.

The bond revocation motion, filed late Tuesday, is moot at the moment, however, because the suspect -- Charles Bernard Thomas Jr. -- has been missing since March 28.


"We are actively investigating his whereabouts, but, at this time, we haven't found him," said Deputy State's Attorney Marcie S. Wogan. "We've had a number of promising-sounding leads, but none of them have materialized."

If Mr. Thomas is found and rearrested, State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes wants him held without bail, according to the papers filed in Carroll Circuit Court.


"The defendant was charged with attempted first-degree murder and related crimes of violence in regard to a vicious surprise attack . . .," Mr. Barnes wrote.

He described Mr. Thomas as a dangerous "fugitive from justice" and said the FBI is assisting his office and Westminster police in the search.

On March 28, the victim, a custodial worker at the Carroll Community College Annex in the 300 block of S. Center St. was found there by a college employee who heard cries for help, Westminster police reported.

Authorities said the 56-year-old woman had been stabbed, beaten, kicked in one eye and thrown down a flight of stairs.

The victim, who lived at the same address as Mr. Thomas for 18 years, spent more than a week at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center before she was released. Ms. Wogan said the victim is "a woman of sustained courage" who is "progressing extremely well."

District Judge Donald M. Smith released Mr. Thomas, 48, on March 20 after an assistant state's attorney failed to argue for a high bail or to mention Mr. Thomas' extensive, 30-year criminal record in court.

Mr. Thomas was before Judge Smith then for a review of his $30,000 bail, which had been imposed three days earlier by a District Court commissioner on the January kidnapping and sexual assault charges.

After giving Assistant State's Attorney Shawn Larson a chance to argue for bail or to question Mr. Thomas, Judge Smith ordered the $5,000 unsecured bond.


Mr. Larson, according to a tape recording of the hearing, declined both of the judge's invitations to speak.

Mr. Larson's silence at the hearing prompted Mr. Barnes to order all of his prosecutors to make the state's position on bail clear at all such hearings. The March 20 hearing involved criminal charges from January, when the woman told Westminster police that a man choked, kidnapped and tried to rape her, and took her to the home of one of his relatives in Harrisburg, Pa.

Mr. Thomas, charged in that incident, was held by Pennsylvania authorities until they dropped assault charges and returned him to Carroll County on March 17 to face the Maryland kidnapping and sexual assault charges.

On Tuesday, the kidnapping and sexual assault charges were moved from District Court to Circuit Court. Mr. Barnes requested the bond revocation at the same time.

Westminster police Lt. Dean A. Brewer said yesterday that tips received by his office about Mr. Thomas have been few.

He said his investigators are concentrating their search in two areas "in Maryland and out of state."