An Anne Arundel County police officer has been indicted by a Harford County grand jury in connection with a hit-and-run accident that killed a Baltimore man on Interstate 95 in January, prosecutors said yesterday.
Dane Patrick Hall, 28, of Perryville was indicted Tuesday on 13 charges that included homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, manslaughter by motor vehicle, failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident resulting in death, reckless driving and failure to control speed to avoid a collision, according to the Harford County State's Attorney's Office.
Hall was arrested yesterday and then released on $100,000 bail, according to the state's attorney office. A trial date has not been set.
If convicted, Hall could face up to 20 years in prison, Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly said.
On Jan. 28, Hall was driving a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder north on I-95 near Aberdeen about 6 a.m. when he struck the rear of a 1996 Ford Explorer, driven by Antonio Martinez, according to the state's attorney's office.
Martinez was driving to work at a construction site in Delaware with two passengers when the Explorer spun out of control, flipped over the guardrail and landed on the southbound shoulder of the highway, according to authorities.
Martinez, 28, of Fieldcrest Road in Baltimore was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two passengers -- Jamie Martinez Salas, 35, and Jose E. Ramos Olvera, 19, both of Sprigg Court in Baltimore County -- sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
State troopers traced a license plate left at the scene to a home in Cecil County. Hall's SUV was found inside a Perryville garage with a damaged front end, according to the state's attorney's office.
Hall, who had been with the Anne Arundel Police Department for three years, has been relieved of all his duties, pending the outcome of the criminal case, said Lt. Jeffrey Silverman, spokesman for Anne Arundel County police.
Prior to the indictment, Hall was placed on administrative duties without police powers. He has since been suspended, according to Anne Arundel officials.
This is the first time that authorities have released Hall's name in connection with the accident that occurred nearly three months ago.
State police did not release Hall's name, redacting his name from an accident report and removing it from a daily log that contains the name of every person detained at the State Police JFK barracks in Perryville.
In February, the state police denied The Sun's request for copies of the accident report and daily log, stating that releasing those records would "jeopardize subsequent criminal proceedings expected to arise from the continuing investigation."
Cassilly said again yesterday that he never instructed the state police to withhold Hall's identity.
"I have been answering this question since the day of the accident," he said. "I had nothing to do with the decision not to release the name."
Lawyers representing the Martinez family criticized police for not divulging information during the early days of the investigation.
"At the beginning, we were a little bit disappointed with them," said attorney Felipe Santo Domingo. "Ever since the investigation has been moving forward, they've been contacting us. We were contacted by the victim's liaison and recently they've been forthcoming with the information."
Domingo said they expect to make an announcement in the next few days involving Martinez's widow, Nohoemi, her 3-year-old daughter, Joslyn, and the two injured passengers.
One of the passengers in the Explorer has not been able to return to work because of a shoulder injury, Domingo said.
"It hasn't been an easy situation for them," Domingo said. "Recently, the shock is wearing off, for lack of a better term. They're realizing what happened."
Martinez was buried in central Mexico, where the family came from four years ago.