Counts filed by assault suspect are dropped

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore prosecutors dropped yesterday assault charges filed against a 26-year-old woman by one of the nine young suspects who herself was charged in the beating aboard a Maryland Transit Administration bus.

Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, said prosecutors lacked "sufficient evidence" to corroborate 15-year-old Nakita McDaniels' statement that Sarah Kreager spat on her, sparking the Dec. 4 melee on the No. 27 bus in the 800 block of W. 33rd St.

Britny Carter, 14, who is charged in the melee, and the mother of an accused boy had told the Sun that Kreager prompted the attack when she spat on one of the girls.

Kreager has denied those charges. Burns also said that prosecutors had "no one substantiating" McDaniels' claim and that her more than three-week delay in filing the charges were a factor in prosecutors' decision not to pursue the complaint.

Kimberly Thomas, McDaniels' attorney, said that her client reported the spitting to a law enforcement officer on the day of the attack and that notes verifying that she made that statement were included in evidence prosecutors have turned over to her.

"Part of what took so long was trying to decide whose voice the reports were in," Thomas said. "It has come to my attention that an investigator actually wrote it himself. That makes it worse. ... I'm at a loss for words. I don't understand how they can just ignore my client."

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