- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
In response to statements from St. Mary’s sheriff’s Capt. Michael Merican quoted in the Nov. 30 edition of The Enterprise, that the jail never received the pink copies of victim notification requests filed by the family of a man killed through a crime of vehicular manslaughter, the jail absolutely received a copy of the victim notification requests that were properly filed by the state’s attorney’s office.
The pink copy, designated for the jail, is no longer in the court’s file because it was sent to the detention center. Additionally, the jail utilized this very victim notification request they claim they never received to leave the victims voice messages on the exact telephone numbers the victims listed in their victim notification requests to notify them that the defendant was released from the local detention center. The mere fact that they called the victims to notify them of the defendant’s release is something that is done only in cases where they have received a victim notification request. Otherwise they are not required to make a call to the victim. The victim still has a saved recording of the detention center’s messages that the jail left on the victim’s voice mail.
The very facts lead to this conclusion: That when the state’s attorney’s office and the court refused an early release of the defendant, the local detention center officials sought an end-run around the judicial system by recommending an early release to the state parole commission. The local detention center officials purposefully refused to notify the victims of their request because they knew that in the face of a strong objection from the state’s attorney’s office and the family, the state parole commission would have denied their request for an early parole.
The citizens of St. Mary’s County should be outraged that the person instrumental in the release of a convicted killer is the same person who is responsible for monitoring the jail, its inmates and all of its daily activities.
Richard D. Fritz, Leonardtown
The writer is the elected state’s attorney for St. Mary’s County.