A Howard County jury took an hour Tuesday to find a 38-year-old Carroll County man guilty of using a high school friend's identity to obtain a Florida driver's license so he could avoid prosecution for driving after his own Maryland license had been revoked.
Gerald Titus Jr. of the 2200 block of Gillis Road in Woodbine will be sentenced by Judge Louis A. Becker III in October. Titus, who seemed on the verge of accepting a plea that would have carried an 18-month sentence in county jail, faces up to 3 1/2 years in a state facility.
The verdict followed a contentious two days in court, which began with Titus' attorney, Mark Mandel, unsuccessfully trying to get the trial postponed because officials in a Carroll County jail allegedly taped conversations between Mandel and Titus that Mandel said compromised his client's defense.
Titus was carrying a license with his picture and vital information belonging to Fredrick Karr of Charlotte, N.C., when he was stopped by a Maryland state trooper on Dec. 4, 2007, after failing to pull his dump truck with a trailer attached into the West Friendship weigh station off Interstate 70.
Titus signed Karr's name to three violations for which he was cited. Nine months later, Trooper Rodney Waner learned that the driver of the truck was Titus. Maryland driving records showed that Titus' license had been revoked after three separate DUI charges during a 15-month period.
Mandel contended that his client was in jail in Frederick County between June 26, 2007, and Dec. 16, 2007, something that wasn't disclosed to prosecutors before the trial. During a lunch break Monday, Assistant State's Attorney Scott Hammond received information that Titus was on work release the day of the traffic stop.
"While he's out on work release, he's committing other crimes," Hammond told the jury.
Mandel tried to discredit the testimony of Waner, Karr and Wendy Parks, Titus' ex-wife. The lawyer said that Waner failed to make copies of the driver's license Titus provided, that Karr, who said he hadn't been in contact with Titus "in 15 to 20 years" might have given Titus permission or sold him the right to use his information, and that Parks lied during her testimony.