Less than 24 hours after a first-degree rape case was dismissed against a man in Frederick County Circuit Court, new charges were filed against him in district court.
James Kevin Myers, 56, was first arrested Aug. 31, 2017, on three counts of first-degree rape and six counts of first-degree sex offense, according to court records. A trial was originally scheduled to take place in March 2018, but was postponed until next month, when Myers’ attorneys in that case, assistant public defenders Jennifer Dayton and Ashley Sener, formally requested a more detailed explanation of the charges in the case.
The grounds for dismissal arose from the response submitted to that request by Assistant State’s Attorney Lindell K. Angel, she said.
“Even though the charging documents and the indictment itself was valid, the court held that the language in my response to the bill of particulars, when combined with the charging documents, made the charging documents duplicitous,” Angel said. “Which means that I’m alleging more than one offense in the same count.”
The case proceeded until earlier this month, when the defense filed a motion to dismiss the charges.
While Angel and Dayton disagreed over the details of what led to the defect in the charging documents, Circuit Judge Scott Rolle handed down his ruling when the two sides met for the hearing Thursday.
“The judge ultimately ruled that the charging document that had been filed was defective and therefore violated the defendant’s constitutional rights, and we believe the judge ruled correctly,” Dayton said when reached for comment Friday.
Rolle dismissed all nine charges, forcing prosecutors and Detective Michael Toste from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to hastily refile the charges — which they are allowed to do because of the reason the case was dismissed — to prevent Myers from being released from the county’s adult detention center.
Myers, who has remained in custody since his initial arrest last August, is now charged with first-degree rape and first-degree assault, as well as two counts of first-degree sex offense, according to the new set of charging documents filed in district court late Thursday.
Myers, who previously served about 17 years in prison for a separate attempted rape conviction dating back to 1985 in Montgomery County, appeared for his second bail review hearing Friday afternoon.
At the hearing, Angel reiterated the facts of the case, recapping the alleged victim’s statements to sheriff’s deputies from over a year ago and telling Judge William Simmons that Myers admitted to several offenses in a phone call with the alleged victim that was listened in on by detectives.
Assistant Public Defender Laura Garcia was brief in her remarks, asking only that the judge consider setting bail in Myers’ case, citing the length of time he had spent in custody up until Friday.
Unlike Thursday, Friday’s hearing ended decisively in Angel’s favor.
“Based on all of the circumstances of this case ... I still believe that it is appropriate that [Myers] continue to be held without bail,” Simmons said.
Angel said she intends to seek additional charges in the new case once the matter returns to circuit court, but expressed frustration with the outcome of Thursday’s case, saying it has effectively reset the case.
“If the defect had been articulated way back when, then it would have been handled, it would have been corrected and basically the case would have moved through the system a lot faster than it will now,” Angel said.
While Dayton’s role in the case technically ended when Rolle dismissed charges Thursday, she believes that she will likely continue representing Myers as the new case unfolds.
When asked to address Angel’s view that Thursday’s hearing effectively prolonged the case, Dayton was brief.
“If the state had correctly charged the case to begin with, this argument would not have needed to be made,” she said.
Myers is next scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Aug. 21, court records state. Had the previous circuit court case proceeded Thursday, Myers would have gone to trial Aug. 29.