City/County Digest


In Baltimore City

Man who served 11 years in murder case is freed

A Baltimore man who was sentenced to life in prison more than a decade ago after being convicted of first-degree murder was freed yesterday, 10 months after he was granted a new trial.

Larry Wright, 31, pleaded guilty yesterday in Circuit Court to second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 48-year-old Eugene Douglas Scott in East Baltimore in 1992. Wright was sentenced to the 11 years he has served for the crime.

Judge Martin P. Welch decided in September that prosecutors did not, as is required by law, turn over evidence that could have helped Wright's case during his 1993 trial. Welch granted a new trial, which ended in yesterday's plea.

City delays awarding technology contract

Baltimore's Board of Estimates delayed awarding a $12.9 million information technology contract yesterday after disappointed bidders asked why the company that made the highest bid was getting the job.

Mayor Martin O'Malley also questioned the legality of the process, which gave additional points to bidders were willing to give more of the work to minority subcontractors than is required under the city's minority contracting goals.

The board was expected to award the contract to TeleCommunications Systems Inc., which made the highest of the four bids but was awarded the job because of other factors, including the company's technical expertise and the quality of its oral presentation, and because it exceeded minority subcontracting goals for the job.

O'Malley said the city should consider making extra factors such as technical expertise "pass/fail," meaning the contract would be awarded based on price after ensuring that the bidders met minimum standards.

Guidelines being developed for additions to rowhouses

The city Department of Planning hopes to develop general guidelines for the construction of third-floor additions on the city's narrow rowhouses by the end of September, a department official says.

"What I'm hearing is we want more predictability" about when such additions may be approved, planner Laurie Feinberg told a roomful of community leaders from South and Southeast Baltimore at the end of a two-hour meeting Tuesday night.

The zoning board must approve all requests for putting additions on rowhouses less than 16 feet wide, but officials have asked for guidance on what factors they should consider in making their decisions.

Among the issues discussed Tuesday night were whether to have stricter standards for the first house on a block to request an addition, and whether limits should be set on the percentage of square footage of a house that could be increased.

Norris begins serving 6-month sentence in Fla.

Former Baltimore police Commissioner Edward T. Norris began serving his sentence yesterday afternoon at the federal prison at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, officials said.

Norris, who left his Baltimore job to become superintendent of the Maryland State Police, checked into the minimum-security prison at 1:13 p.m., according to federal prison officials. He will be confined there for six months, a sentence he received last month for corruption and tax crimes.

The prison is about a 450-mile drive from his Tampa home.

Norris pleaded guilty in March in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to using money from a little-known city police account to pay for romantic liaisons, lavish meals, trips and gifts.

His prison term is to be followed by six months of home detention.

In Baltimore County

Sketch released of woman found dead in park

TOWSON - County police released yesterday a composite sketch of the woman whose badly burned body was discovered Tuesday in a Pikesville park.

She is thought to be a black woman between ages 17 and 30, 5 feet 4 inches tall and 186 pounds, police said.

A passer-by reported the body on fire at 5:40 a.m. Tuesday in Gwynnvale Park near the 1300 block of Idylwood Road. Police and the state medical examiner's office are working to identify her, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call county police at 410-307-2020.

Retail, office building planned for Pikesville

PIKESVILLE - County Executive James T. Smith Jr. and Councilman Kevin Kamenetz announced yesterday plans for a $2 million mixed-use project in downtown Pikesville.

The 12,000-square-foot retail-office building will be built at 1100 Reisterstown Road at Waldron Avenue. A building already there will be demolished.

The two-story building, designed as a row of brick townhouses with pitched roofs, will front the sidewalk on Reisterstown Road. Six retail spaces will occupy the first floor, with six office spaces on the second floor.

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