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FOREST HILL MAN CONVICTED OF SECOND DEGREE RAPE

On January 30, 2023, Steven Jay Friedman, 40, of Forest Hill, Maryland was convicted of Second Degree Rape, Sexual Offense in the Third Degree, Second Degree Assault, and Furnishing for or Allowing Underage Consumption following a bench trial in the Circuit Court for Harford County. The charges are the result of a Harford County Sheriff’s Office investigation, which found that Friedman lured a sixteen-year-old neighbor into his home and sexually assaulted her after providing her alcohol on February 18, 2022.

The victim testified during the trial before the Honorable Judge Yolanda L. Curtin that she regularly takes walks in the neighborhood and a resident, identified as Friedman, approached her at approximately 5:00 p.m., stating that he had been watching her take her walks and thought she was very attractive. Friedman invited the victim into his residence to provide her alcohol. While in the residence, Friedman reached under her shirt and bra and touched her breast. The victim testified that she was too intoxicated to say no. Friedman overcame her attempts to resist and performed oral sex on her while digitally penetrating her without her consent. During the incident, Friedman’s family came home, and Friedman interacted with them before escorting the victim out of the residence undetected. The victim preserved video evidence of Friedman providing her alcohol and confirming the sexual contact. Friedman was interviewed by members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigative Division and admitted to providing the victim alcohol and to the sexual contact.

The Honorable Judge Curtin remanded Friedman to the custody of the Harford County Detention Center following his convictions. Friedman faces up to 20 years of incarceration. Sentencing will be scheduled following the completion of a Pre-Sentence Investigation.

State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey stated after the verdict was pronounced by the Court: “The conviction of Steven Friedman for this heinous and predatory crime gives the victim of this case closure to a difficult chapter that no individual deserves, and especially not a child. We will be seeking a maximum sentence to ensure this sexual predator is removed from our community for the protection of other children and our citizens. I commend the victim and her family for reporting the assault and for the bravery she exhibited by testifying at trial.”

Ms. Healey thanks Assistant State’s Attorney Matthew George for his hard work on this case for the last year and for taking the matter to trial to seek justice for this victim. Ms. Healey further thanks Deputy First Class Mansell, Detective Sergent, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigative Division for their efforts in thoroughly investigating the case.

BALTIMORE COUNTY DRUG DEALER CONVICTED OF POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE COCAINE FOLLOWING TWO DAY JURY TRIAL

Bruce Vincent Tran, 51, of Rosedale, Maryland was convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine, and Possession of Heroin on January 20, 2023, following a two-day jury trial in the Circuit Court for Harford County. The charges stemmed from an investigation of Tran who was at the Motel 6 in Edgewood on April 1, 2021.

Tran’s car was known to be involved in an ongoing drug investigation by members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Crime Suppression Unit and was seen engaging in activity consistent with the sale of drugs. Members of the Crime Suppression Unit followed Tran’s vehicle, stopping it for failing to use a left turn signal while turning onto northbound Route 24 from Edgewood Road. K-9 Rocco alerted on the vehicle for the recent presence of drugs, and it was searched. Tran was searched at the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Southern Precinct and found to have two bags secreted in his pants. One bag contained 40 small bags of crack cocaine, and the other bag contained 8 capsules of heroin and fentanyl. No paraphernalia associated with drug use was found on Tran or his car.

The Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney remanded Tran to the custody of the Harford County Detention Center after conviction at the request of Deputy State’s Attorney David Ryden, where Tran will remain while he awaits sentencing. Ryden cited Tran’s previous criminal history for Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Dangerous Substances and a pending indictment for the possession of a large amount of drugs in the Baltimore County Circuit Court that is set for trial on April 10, 2023. Tran faces up to twenty years’ incarceration for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and one year for Possession of Heroin on the Harford County case.

State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey commented that her administration has immediately begun working with her office’s law enforcement partners in securing convictions and punishment for drug dealers, and all criminals generally, since taking office on January 3, 2023. “Through this conviction, just 17 days after taking office, our office is sending a swift and certain message to anyone that plans to sell drugs in Harford County or to bring drugs from other jurisdictions to Harford County to sell that in Harford County, you will face trial and be incarcerated.”

Ms. Healey would like to thank Deputy First Class Ross, Senior Deputy First Class Dean, Deputy First Class Weilert, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s Crime Suppression Unit for their effort in investigating this case, as well as Deputy State’s Attorney David Ryden for his prompt attention, preparation, and advocacy in this case. Their combined efforts led to Mr. Tran’s conviction in this case. Sentencing is scheduled in this matter for March 15, 2023 at 2:30 p.m.

THE INVESTITURE OF ALISON M. HEALEY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 3, 2023 will forever be a historic day in Harford County, as Alison M. Healey was sworn in as the first ever female State’s Attorney. Ms. Healey secured an overwhelming victory against the Republican incumbent in the primary election held on July 19, 2022, by a more than two to one margin. During her investiture held in the Circuit Court for Harford County, Ms. Healey emphasized the historic place she now holds but maintained that “…male or female, I was the most qualified and best candidate for the job, and I could not be more blessed that the citizens of this county confirmed that definitively with their votes.”

Throughout her campaign, Ms. Healey ran on the platform of restoring law and order in Harford County, repairing the relationships between the State’s Attorney’s Office and law enforcement, and being a “champion for victims in our county.” During the ceremony she renewed those commitments. “I can assure you that when the men and women of law enforcement work so diligently, as they always do, to bring cases to the court for prosecution, our office will always strive to hold offenders accountable to our fullest potential… We will ensure that every victim in this county feels compassion, is prepared for every step and phase of their case and knows that they always come first.” Ms. Healey went on to highlight her lifelong history in Harford County and committed to spending the next four years ensuring “…that our County remains a safe place for all our citizens.”

Baltimore Man Convicted of First Degree Murder

MEDIA RELEASE
DATE: December 22, 2022
RE: Conviction and Sentencing of Milton Mondowney, III

(Bel Air, Maryland) — Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction and sentencing of Milton Mondowney, III, 31, from Baltimore, Maryland, for murder in the first degree and use of a firearm in commission of a felony and crime of violence.

On Monday, May 30, 2022 at 5:23 a.m., Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to 1904 North Fountain Green Road, Apartment 203, in Bel Air, Maryland, for a reported shooting. Upon arrival, deputies located Corey Samuels, 23, deceased as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and head. Detectives responded to the scene and began an investigation. Witness interviews and surveillance from the apartment complex revealed that Milton Mondowney, III, entered the apartment and shot Corey Samuels multiple times.

On December 14, 2022, Milton Mondowney, III, pled guilty to murder in the first degree and use of a firearm in commission of a felony and crime of violence. Following victim impact statements made by Mr. Samuels’ parents and siblings, the Honorable Kevin Mahoney sentenced Mr. Mondowney to life suspend all but forty years to serve for the first-degree murder of Corey Samuels, and a concurrent twenty years suspend all but five years without parole to serve for the use of a firearm in commission of a felony and crime of violence. Upon completion of those sentences, Mr. Mondowney will be subject to five years of supervised probation.

“Senseless acts of violence in our communities will not be tolerated,” said Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr. “I am very proud of the work that my office and the Sheriff’s Office did to hold Mr. Mondowney accountable for this tragedy in the name of pursuing justice for the victim and his family.”

Mr. Peisinger expressed gratitude to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their response and thorough investigation, as well as to Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Fitzpatrick, whose diligence and advocacy led to the conviction of Mr. Mondowney.

Harford County Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

December 21, 2022
Contact MARCIA LUBIN at (410) 209-4854
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
www.justice.gov/usao/md

HARFORD COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR HIS PARTICIPATION IN A DRUG DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY

Defendant, Who was Previously Convicted of Drug Trafficking, and a Co-Conspirator Were Convicted After an Eight-Day Federal Trial

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III sentenced Che Jaron Durbin, age 44, of Aberdeen, Maryland, on December 19, 2022, to 20 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine and for two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, in connection with his participation in a drug trafficking organization distributing cocaine and crack cocaine in Harford County, Maryland.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.; Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Postal Inspector in Charge Damon E. Wood of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office; and the Harford County Drug Task Force, a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, comprised of members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Aberdeen Police Department, the Bel Air Police Department, and the Havre de Grace Police Department.

According to evidence presented at the eight-day trial, in May 2019, members of the Harford County Drug Task Force were investigating Durbin, who was suspected of drug trafficking in the Harford County area. Witnesses testified that on May 17, 2019, a U.S. Postal Inspector notified detectives that a suspicious package was en route to Durbin’s mother’s apartment in Aberdeen, Maryland. Detectives watched as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier delivered the parcel to Durbin, who took it into the apartment. A short time later, a woman, later identified as co-defendant Jameka Cara Thompson, left the apartment with the parcel and drove to her home. Law enforcement detained Thompson and obtained a search warrant for her vehicle. The parcel was found to contain one kilogram of compressed cocaine. Further investigation revealed that co-defendant Jack Anderson from Tucson, Arizona was the sender of the package.

On January 22, 2020, law enforcement learned from U.S. Postal Inspectors that Durbin sent a parcel from Havre de Grace, Maryland, addressed to Anderson in Tucson, Arizona. A search warrant was obtained for the parcel after a K9 gave a positive alert. The parcel contained $82,300 in cash inside a wireless headphones box.

In February 2020, as part of the investigation, law enforcement intercepted Durbin’s communications, as well as those of Anderson, co-defendant Terrell Walton, and other co-defendants to whom Durbin supplied cocaine and crack cocaine. The evidence at trial demonstrated that Walton obtained cocaine from Durbin, which Walton then sold to a network of individuals in Harford County. Intercepted communications between Durbin and Walton included discussions regarding the amounts of drugs and the price, often using coded language.

According to trial testimony, in May 2020, law enforcement surveilled Durbin meeting with Anderson at a Tucson, Arizona hotel. Soon after the meeting, Durbin picked Thompson up at the Tucson Airport and drove her back to his hotel room. Durbin flew back to Maryland the next day and Thompson ultimately obtained a bulk supply of cocaine from Anderson on Durbin’s behalf. Thompson drove cross-country from Arizona to Harford County, where she was arrested on May 12, 2020. Law enforcement searched her vehicle, seizing 1.4 kilograms of cocaine. Durbin was also arrested. According to trial testimony, over the course of the conspiracy Thompson made at least eight similar trips on Durbin’s behalf, transporting almost 40 kilograms of cocaine to Maryland for Durbin to distribute.

Co-defendant Terrell Darnell Walton, age 36, of Delaware, was also convicted at trial for the drug conspiracy and was sentenced on September 23, 2022, to 13 years in federal prison. Co-defendant Jack Anderson IV, age 46, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced to 126 months in federal prison in December 2021, after Anderson entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Co-defendants Jameka Cara Thompson, age 42, of Abingdon, Maryland, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison; Gerrick Devlon Jackson, age 40 of Havre de Grace, Maryland, was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison; and Michael Ronnell Wells, age 38, of Forest Hill, Maryland, was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison, for their roles in the conspiracy.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, the DEA, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, and the Harford County Drug Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who prosecuted the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

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Edgewood Woman Receives Four Consecutive Life Sentences Plus Twenty Years from May 2019 Arson

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced Judge Paul Ishak has sentenced Bobbie Sue Hodge to four consecutive life sentences plus twenty years. The Defendant received a life sentence for each felony murder, five years for the assault in the second degree on Brenda Ayres, five years for the assault in the second degree on Dustin Gerhart, and ten years for the assault in the second degree on Marquise St. John, who suffered a broken ankle and arm from jumping out of the third-floor window to escape the fire.
A Harford County jury found Bobbie Sue Hodge, 63, of Edgewood, Maryland, guilty of arson in the first degree, four counts of felony murder, and three counts of assault in the second degree stemming from an arson that occurred on May 9, 2019, at 1862 Simons Court in Edgewood, Maryland. Ms. Hodge was facing a maximum penalty of four life sentences plus 30 years.

On May 9, 2019, at 2:28 a.m., a third-floor occupant of the dwelling, Ernest Lee, called 911 to report a fire at 1862 Simons Court. Members of the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department were the first engine to respond to the fire. By 2:35 a.m., when the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department arrived, the third floor of the townhouse was completely engulfed in fire. Abingdon Volunteer Fire Department, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Department, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, and Baltimore County-Kingsville Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the fire.

Ernest Lee, Dionne Hill, and Kimberly Shupe who were all on the third floor, perished in the fire. Another third-floor occupant was able to escape the fire by jumping out of his third-floor bedroom window. He sustained a broken ankle and arm. The Defendant and two other basement occupants were able to escape to safety. Mary Elizabeth Kennedy who was living on the second floor was rescued by fire personnel and transported to an area hospital for treatment of her burns. Ms. Kennedy later died from her injuries on January 22, 2020.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint investigation of the fire. After interviewing numerous witnesses including the occupants of the house, neighbors, and the Defendant, review of the 911 calls, and consulting with experts at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, the Defendant was arrested for arson and murder.

“This tragedy shocked our Harford County community,” said Mr. Peisinger. “It is my hope that this verdict and now sentence is a step towards healing for the surviving victims and the families of those who lost loved ones.” Mr. Peisinger thanked the Maryland State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their joint efforts in the investigation and arrest of Bobbie Sue Hodge. He also thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Angela Diehl and Timothy Doory for their extraordinary advocacy that resulted in the verdict.

Former Baltimore Police SWAT Officer Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Exploitation of a Child to Produce Child Pornography

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher sentenced Donald Hildebrandt, age 52, of Bel Air, Maryland, yesterday to 25 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for sexual exploitation of a child to produce child pornography, and possession of child pornography. The indictment was returned on June 3, 2021. Hildebrandt is a former Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) officer with the Baltimore Police Department.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler; Lieutenant Paul Marziale of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Director of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center; and Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.

According to his plea agreement, between 2018 and 2020, Hildebrandt purchased at least three “spy” cameras, which he hid in a shared bathroom in his home to secretly record minors showering and using the bathroom. Hundreds of videos of minors in various stages of undress were made, and the minors who were recorded were between the ages of three and 16. At least 10 children were recorded in videos taken in the bathroom and dozens of videos were produced that depicted children with exposed genitals, including at least five minors, four of whom were under 12 years of age.

As detailed in the plea agreement, Hildebrandt placed the cameras slightly above the seat of the toilet and at other location at a height designed to capture the victims’ genitals while getting in and out of the shower, and while using the toilet. In order to record as many victims as possible, visitors were instructed to change clothes only in the bathroom and not in the bedrooms. The images recorded in the videos were located on Hildebrandt’s computer which was seized during a search on October 20, 2021. Additional images depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct were found on other electronic media seized during the search.

One day prior to the execution of the search warrant, Hildebrandt was notified that he was the subject of a child exploitation investigation, through a witness and when he was contacted by a member of Child Protective Services. Sometime after that, but before the execution of the search warrant, Hildebrandt admitted that he performed a factory reset of his tablet. Investigators also did not locate any “spy” cameras in the residence.

Finally, it was also proved that Hildebrandt sexually abused a minor, demanding that the victim engage in sex acts with him.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended HSI, the Maryland State Police, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Harford County Child Advocacy Center, and the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul E. Budlow and Mary Setzer, who prosecuted the federal case.

Edgewood Woman Convicted of Arson and Felony Murder

MEDIA RELEASE
DATE: October 25, 2022
RE: Multiple Homicide convictions

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that yesterday afternoon, a Harford County jury found Bobbie Sue Hodge, 63, of Edgewood, Maryland, guilty of arson in the first degree, four counts of felony murder, and three counts of assault in the second degree stemming from an arson that occurred on May 9, 2019, at 1862 Simons Court in Edgewood, Maryland. Ms. Hodge faces a maximum penalty of four life sentences plus 60 years.

On May 9, 2019, at 2:28 a.m., a third-floor occupant of the dwelling, Ernest Lee, called 911 to report a fire at 1862 Simons Court. Members of the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department were the first engine to respond to the fire. By 2:35 a.m. when the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Department arrived, the third floor of the townhouse was completely engulfed in fire. Abingdon Volunteer Fire Department, Bel Air Volunteer Fire Department, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, and Baltimore County-Kingsville Volunteer Fire Department, also responded to the fire. Ernest Lee, Dionne Hill, and Kimberly Shupe who were all on the third floor perished in the fire. Another third-floor occupant was able to escape the fire by jumping out of his thirdfloor bedroom window. He sustained a broken ankle and arm. The Defendant and two other basement occupants were able to escape to safety. Mary Elizabeth Kennedy who was living on the second floor was rescued by fire personnel and transported to an area hospital for treatment of her burns. Ms. Kennedy later died from her injuries on January 22, 2020.

The Maryland State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint investigation of the fire. After interviewing numerous witnesses including the occupants of the house, neighbors, and the Defendant, review of the 911 calls, and consulting with experts at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, the Defendant was arrested for arson and murder.

The jury trial took place from October 5, 2022, until the verdict was reached on October 24, 2022.

“This tragedy shocked our Harford County community,” said Mr. Peisinger. “It is my hope that this verdict is a first step towards healing for the surviving victims and the families of those who lost loved ones.”

Mr. Peisinger thanked the Maryland State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their joint efforts in the investigation and arrest of Bobbie Sue Hodge. He also thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Angela Diehl and Timothy Doory for their extraordinary advocacy that resulted in the verdict. Mr. Peisinger additionally thanked the Honorable Paul Ishak for diligently and patiently conducting the trial.

Multiple Individuals Convicted of Conspiring to Import Large Amount of Cocaine into Harford County

MEDIA RELEASE

DATE: July 18, 2022

RE: Convictions of Geofrey Raheim Brown, Keneil Carlos Callender, and Danita Ginette Cromwell

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the
convictions of Geofrey Raheim Brown, 29, of Bel Air, Maryland, Keneil Carlos Callender, 32, of Edgewater,
New Jersey, and Danita Ginette Cromwell, 46, of Elkton, Maryland for conspiracy to import into Maryland at
least 28 grams of cocaine.

Between the months of August, 2021 and November, 2021, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force
conducted a lengthy investigation involving numerous individuals engaged in a drug trafficking conspiracy
throughout Harford County. Utilizing court ordered surveillance, investigators identified Geoffrey Raheim
Brown as an importer of illicit narcotics and Keneil Carlos Callender as his supplier.

Through additional surveillance methods, Task Force detectives and federal agents of the United States Drug
Enforcement Administration observed a meeting between Geoffrey Brown and Keneil Callender at Keneil
Callender’s residence in New Jersey for the purpose of acquiring cocaine. Subsequent to that meeting,
investigators became aware that Geofrey Brown utilized couriers to make trips from Maryland to Keneil
Callender’s residence in New Jersey to acquire illegal narcotics for street level distribution. One of the couriers,
identified as Danita Ginette Cromwell, met with Keniel Callender on November 12, 2021 at Geofrey Brown’s
direction at a restaurant in New Jersey. Following this meeting, Danita Cromwell drove back to Maryland,
where she was then stopped by law enforcement. During a search of her vehicle, investigators recovered more
than 300 grams of cocaine and more than 100 grams of a cutting agent. Also seized were 336 grams of
marijuana. The drugs that were seized were intended to be delivered to Geofrey Brown so he could redistribute
them in Harford County.

On July 18, 2022, the Honorable Emory A. Plitt Jr. sentenced Geofrey Raheim Brown to 12 years of
incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections. Upon release, Mr. Brown will be subject to four years
of supervised probation with an additional 13 of incarceration should he violate. Keneil Carlos Callender was
sentenced to 11 years of incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections. Upon his release, Mr.
Callender would be subject three years of probation and an additional nine years of incarceration should he
violate. Danita Ginette Cromwell’s sentencing was set for November 14, 2022.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Christopher J. Romano and Jennifer Jaskulski-Tripp who
prosecuted this matter and commended the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force, Maryland
State Police, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Aberdeen Police Department, the Havre
de Grace Police Department, the Bel Air Police Department, the Cecil County Drug Task Force, the Baltimore
County Police Department, the Bergen County New Jersey Police Department, and the Maryland State Police
Forensic Sciences Division for their hard work and dedication to conducting the investigation which resulted in
the arrest and convictions of Geofrey Raheim Brown, Keneil Carlos Callender, and Danita Ginette Cromwell.

Edgewood Man Indicted for Second Degree Murder

MEDIA RELEASE
DATE: July 7, 2022
RE: Indictment of James Sanders

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that a Harford County Grand Jury has indicted James Marnell Sanders, 35, for murder in the second degree and related charges including child abuse resulting in the death of his 5-year-old son.

On Thursday, May 5, 2022, at approximately 10:45 p.m., emergency services personnel responded to Route 24 just north of Edgewood Road for a report of a collision with a pedestrian and a child. Upon arrival, first responders found James Sanders and his 5-year-old son Trayln Sanders on scene and transported them to area hospitals. Trayln was sent to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries, while James Sanders was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma.

An investigation by the Maryland State Police, which included witness interviews and surveillance camera footage, revealed that James Sanders and Trayln Sanders had tried to cross Route 24 and were almost struck by a vehicle. Mr. Sanders continued to try and cross the intersection with Trayln, despite oncoming traffic and not crossing in a designated crosswalk. A 2018 Toyota RAV4 that had the steady green signal then struck both Mr. James Sanders and Trayln.

When officers arrived at the crash scene, they could smell a strong odor of alcohol on Mr. Sanders. Blood tests were administered, and an analysis revealed that Mr. Sanders had an approximate blood alcohol content of a little more than four times the legal limit of intoxication.
Mr. Peisinger thanked and commended the Maryland State Police for its thorough investigation and all the first responders who responded to this scene.

All criminal defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court. An indictment is a charging instrument reviewed by a Grand Jury and not proof of guilt.