Police officer charged with drunken driving
A 25-year-old Howard County police officer was arrested and charged with drunken driving after he crashed his cruiser in the Southern District station's parking lot in North Laurel, police said yesterday.
A car driven by Officer Tyronne Cole Jr. collided with a small parked trailer, which hit other parked vehicles, including several patrol cars, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said.
Nobody was injured in the incident, which occurred soon after Cole arrived for work about 11 p.m. Saturday, she said. Cole was leaving the parking lot to go on patrol when the incident occurred.
Cole reported the collision to commanders, who "during the course of the investigation ... discovered that alcohol was a factor," Llewellyn said. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Llewellyn said she did not know how fast Cole's car was going or the extent of the damage to the vehicles.
Cole has been a member of the department since 2004, Llewellyn said. He was honored for outstanding leadership among the 17 recruits in his training class, according to a department newsletter.
He has been assigned to administrative duties, and his law enforcement authority has been suspended while the criminal case proceeds. Once the case is concluded, the Howard County police internal affairs division will investigate, Llewellyn said.
As of yesterday evening, Cole had not been before a District Court commissioner. Efforts to reach Cole, who public records show lives in Baltimore County, were unsuccessful.
Teacher's sex-abuse trial set
A trial date of July 23 was set yesterday for Alan Meade Beier, 52, one of three Howard County teachers accused in separate incidents of engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with young people.
Beier, a chemistry and physics teacher at River Hill High School, was arrested Jan. 12 after a 16-year-old student said Beier had undressed and photographed him in his classroom.
Beier also is accused of fondling a 16-year-old female student. He has been charged with four counts of sexual abuse of minors, three counts of fourth-degree sex offense and four counts of second-degree assault.
Beier waived his right to appear at yesterday's hearing in Howard County Circuit Court. His lawyer, Joshua R. Treem of Baltimore, Judge Diane O. Leasure and Mary Murphy, senior assistant state's attorney, agreed on the trial date.
Beier, who is on paid administrative leave from the school system, remained free on $85,000 bond.
He was arrested less than a week after the arrest of Joseph Samuel Ellis, 25, a teacher at Glenelg High School who was charged with exposing himself to a student in a classroom, sending suggestive computer messages to another and persuading a third to meet him at a park with the promise of providing alcohol.
Last month, Kirsten Ann Kinley, 27, a special-education teacher at Marriotts Ridge High School, was arrested and charged with having sex with a 15-year-old boy two years ago when she was a teacher at a middle school. The boy was not one of her students.
Ellis is scheduled for a Circuit Court appearance March 26, and Kinley is scheduled for a District Court appearance March 20.
Murder count dismissed
An Anne Arundel County judge yesterday dismissed the most serious charge - second-degree murder - against a Glen Burnie man accused of fatally shooting an acquaintance Nov. 4, 2005.
Jurors began deliberating late yesterday whether to convict Todd Allan Poorman, 28, of manslaughter. Poorman told police that he shot Michael Leo Rousseaux, 28, in self-defense during an argument over a debt for a car that Rousseaux sold him. Poorman did not testify at the trial. Jonathan H. Shoup, Poorman's attorney, said his client had a right to defend himself.
Noting that Rousseaux was shot seven times, assistant state's attorney Fred Paone called the death "an execution."
Andrea F. Siegel