The Baltimore County States Attorney's office yesterday dropped -- for now -- the murder charges against Dana Sylvester Whitley, a 29-year-old drifter accused of killing a Parkville couple in 1993 and of three slayings in Baltimore.
Whitley's trial was scheduled to begin yesterday, but Assistant State's Attorney Mickey J. Norman said his office dismissed the charges because the prosecutor was unable to get a witness moved from a Michigan federal prison in time to testify.
Norman said his office may reinstate the charges against Whitley because "we're looking at additional information."
Whitley, who police and prosecutors have described as extremely dangerous, is charged in the killings of Lorrainne Audra Temple, 22, and her husband, John Kenneth Temple, 26, in December 1993. Police said the couple was found suffocated with plastic bags over their heads.
According to court records, John Temple may have been a target because he was keeping drugs and money for a co-worker at his apartment.
Whitley was charged last July with killing five people -- including the Temples -- in Baltimore and Baltimore County. Most of the victims were strangers who allegedly had stashed away drug money and were targets of planned robberies.
Yesterday, Whitley remained in the Baltimore County Detention Center, awaiting a June 22 trial on attempted murder charges. He is accused of shooting at several people who were in a yard in Rosedale in December 1995, said Norman.
Even if Whitley were released from jail after the Baltimore County cases, he would be sent to the city jail to face charges in the city slayings.
Pub Date: 6/09/98