Pubdate: Fri, 03 Nov 2000
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2000 The Washington Post Company
Contact:  1150 15th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20071
Authors: Fredrick Kunkle and Mary Otto, Washington Post Staff Writers
Note: Staff writers Petula Dvorak and Phuong Ly and Metro researcher Bobbye 
Pratt contributed to this report.


The convicted drug dealer charged with killing an undercover Maryland state 
trooper violated probation dozens of times after his sentencing more than a 
year ago, but probation officials failed to file charges until after the 
fatal shooting, court records show.

As the search for the officer's killer entered a third fruitless day, 
hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered at a funeral home in 
Northeast Baltimore for a viewing for Trooper 1st Class Edward M. Toatley.

Their sorrow was mixed with solemn fury that the court system had dealt 
carelessly with Kofi Apea Orleans-Lindsay, a 23-year-old Montgomery County 
man charged with Toatley's slaying.

"The anger runs very deep," Trooper 1st Class Cynthia Brown said. "It's 
only a matter of time until that person will be brought to justice."

Orleans-Lindsay's record shows several arrests and two previous 
drug-dealing convictions, both for relatively small amounts of drugs.

In July of last year, a little more than a month after receiving probation 
instead of jail for his second drug-dealing conviction, Orleans-Lindsay 
failed to report to his probation officer, according to complaints filed 
Wednesday by his probation officer, Gisele Longchamp.

Orleans-Lindsay, a native of Ghana, missed seven subsequent appointments 
with his probation officer, including a meeting scheduled for Sept. 21, 
according to officials and court documents. He also skipped drug tests 61 
times; tested positive for drugs three times, including as recently as June 
9; and failed to attend a substance-abuse treatment program, records show.

Orleans-Lindsay also is listed as having violated probation after his first 
drug-dealing conviction in April 1997. Despite his alleged pattern of 
violating probation, Longchamp did not advise the court or bring any 
charges until Wednesday. She would not comment, referring calls to 
superiors instead.

Leonard A. Sipes Jr., spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public 
Safety and Correctional Services, acknowledged the Parole and Probation 
division's lapses.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of Trooper Toatley and the fact that 
the suspected killer was under the supervision of the Maryland Division of 
Parole and Probation," Sipes said.

He said the person handling Orleans-Lindsay's case had been saddled with 
200 offenders, twice the normal caseload. And he noted that Orleans-Lindsay 
tested negative for drugs 45 times and made contact with his probation 
officer 12 times.

The division, which has sought help from the General Assembly, plans to 
hire 44 new agents this year and 244 more over the next four years to 
reduce caseload ratios to 50-1.

"We recognize that the way we supervise offenders in the community must 
change, and we are embarked upon that plan," Sipes said.

As the justice system came under fire for the handling of Orleans-Lindsay's 
case, Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler said that last 
year prosecutors fashioned what they believed was a fair plea bargain for a 
petty drug dealer with no record of violence.

Gansler said Orleans-Lindsay stayed clean between his last arrest, on Sept. 
14, 1998, and his sentencing on June 3, 1999. Prosecutors agreed to seek no 
more than six years. They did not object when Circuit Court Judge William 
P. Turner suspended a 10-year sentence on one charge and a four-year 
sentence on another. The sentences could have been imposed if he was found 
guilty of violating probation, Gansler said.

"Who's to blame for this death? The defendant," Gansler said. "But where 
did the criminal justice system fail, if anywhere? By not [acting to 
revoke] this guy's probation."

Yesterday, mourners filed past the open coffin of the slain trooper, who 
was laid out in his dress uniform, holding his rosary. Paying his respects 
at a private ceremony, Gov. Parris N. Glendening pinned two new medals to 
Toatley's chest. One was the Medal of Valor, the highest award a Maryland 
state trooper can receive.

Witnessing the ceremony were Toatley's widow, Inez, and his 18-year-old 
son, Antoinne; his 5-year-old son, Daniel; and his 18-month-old daughter, 
Taylor. The governor, speaking afterward, quietly recounted a conversation 
he had with Daniel after the boy asked, "Who shot my father?"

"I told him a very bad person did it," said Glendening, who appeared 
shaken. "I told him his father was a hero."

Col. David B. Mitchell, head of the Maryland State Police, said the most 
difficult moment was when Daniel wanted to give his father a kiss. The 
boy's mother lifted the child up, and the boy said, "Momma, Daddy's cold." 
Mitchell said the mother responded, "Your kiss has now warmed him up."

Staff writers Petula Dvorak and Phuong Ly and Metro researcher Bobbye Pratt 
contributed to this report.
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