A judge refused yesterday to grant bail to a Calvert County man accused of leading police on a 200-mile, high-speed pursuit and carjacking a woman's SUV in a Washington suburb and driving off with her two young children inside.
Prosecutors described Carl E. Jones as an "extreme flight risk" with a long criminal record and told Montgomery County District Judge Patricia L. Mitchell that the children's mother, Marna Plaia, had pleaded that he be kept behind bars.
"I have been in touch with" [Plaia], Assistant State's Attorney Deborah Armstrong said in court. "There is a lot of anxiety over whether [Jones] is going to be released."
The Plaias of Great Falls, Va., declined to be interviewed but released a written statement yesterday saying they were "thankful and happy" for the safe recovery of Paul, 3, and Edie, 18 months.
Jones, 31, is charged with kidnapping, carjacking and theft in Tuesday's two-hour chase, which spanned five counties and began when a man fled police in a stolen Infiniti in West Baltimore.
Using patrol cars and helicopters, police from multiple agencies tracked the man as he drove at speeds reaching 140 mph. Police say the man abandoned the Infiniti in Montgomery County, where Plaia's Mercedes sport utility vehicle was carjacked.
Jones has a lengthy criminal record that includes 12 convictions. Jones, who is being held in a Clarksburg jail, took part in the hearing via closed-circuit television. He asked for a postponement, saying he could not understand the proceedings and needed his attorney, Daryl D. Jones.
The judge denied bail after finding that the defendant had not retained the Annapolis attorney and hearing the prosecutor's argument that Carl Jones already had been granted a one-day postponement to retain counsel. Daryl Jones was retained as the defendant's attorney later yesterday afternoon, according to the lawyer's office.
Sun staff writer Amanda J. Crawford contributed to this article.