- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin (R) filed Monday to run for re-election in 2014.
“I want to continue to serve the people of Calvert County,” Martin said Wednesday. “I enjoy working with the law enforcement community, and I see it as a partnership between my office and law enforcement in keeping Calvert a safe place to live, work and raise our children.”
Martin, who will be running for what will be her third term if re-elected, said she believes the state’s attorney’s office has “achieved a reputation for being firm, but fair” in handling the variety of criminal cases it prosecutes. She said the office is “very open and responsive” to the community and welcomes input from community members.
“I try to be a very active presence in the community — to be available and accessible to anyone with a concern or question,” Martin wrote in an email. “Moreover, while I believe that being a presence in the community is important, it is more important to be an active presence in the courtroom.”
Martin said she has personally prosecuted “some very high-profile cases” and brought them to successful conclusions that provided justice to the victims. A recent example, Martin said, is the State v. John Gibson, who was charged with first-degree murder for killing his girlfriend, 27-year-old Amanda Lynn Foster. Gibson entered an Alford plea earlier this month to murder, and will be sentenced in November, at which time the state will be asking for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Other high-profile cases Martin prosecuted include State v. Graham Buckmaster, who was sentenced in 2007 to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder; State v. Clyde Chew, who was sentenced in 2008 to life in prison for first-degree murder; State v. Jerry Goldring, who was sentenced in 2008 to life in prison with all but 45 years suspended for first-degree rape; State v. Barbara Hampton, who was sentenced in 2009 to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder; State v. Renee Bowman, who was sentenced in 2010 to 25 years in prison for first-degree child abuse; and State v. Benjamin Lowell, who was sentenced in 2012 to life in prison with all but 35 years suspended for attempted first-degree murder.
Another accomplishment of Martin’s is the upgrades to the technology in the state’s attorney’s office, which includes a new case management system that will allow the office to eventually go paperless.
Martin said she also is proud of the active partnership the office has with the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse, law enforcement, clergy, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Juvenile Services, local pharmacies, Calvert Memorial Hospital and the Calvert County Health Department in their continued efforts to bring awareness and education to the community regarding the prescription drug problem in the county “that is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions.”
A new Family Violence Unit will be established next year, Martin said, and the unit will encompass the existing Domestic Violence Unit along with child abuse/neglect cases, vulnerable adult abuse/neglect cases and juvenile cases. The partner agencies within the new unit will have specific points of contact with specially trained prosecutors and support staff during the investigation, prosecution and eventual supervision of those offenders, Martin said.
“With the creation of this unit, my goal is to ensure all members in the family are protected and the cycle of violence will be curtailed,” she wrote in an email.
The state’s attorney’s office also will be starting a new initiative in the area of domestic violence by enacting one of the first Domestic Violence High Risk Teams in Maryland, Martin said, as Calvert has been selected by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence as the pilot program. According to Martin, the program will bring together the key players, including the state’s attorney’s office, law enforcement, medical personnel, the Division of Parole and Probation and counseling services, which are all geared toward a successful prosecution and reduced recidivism.