Showing posts with label State's Attorney's Office. Show all posts
Showing posts with label State's Attorney's Office. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beau Oglesby Sworn Into Office As State's Attorney For Worcester County

Beau Oglesby's wife and children flanked him as Circuit Court Clerk Stephen Hales administered the oath of office, swearing him in as Worcester County's state's attorney.

When Hales asked Oglesby to raise his right hand, his daughter, Georgia, 6, and son, Evan, 4, standing at his feet, also obliged.

Once he was sworn in, his wife, Anne, handed him a new prosecutor's badge. He held it high over his head and beamed.

Oglesby pledged to be passionate and courageous and to make the State's Attorney's Office better than it is today.

"You can't imagine the journey that this has been," he said. "This campaign was never easy; we never thought it was going to be easy. We're very proud to be standing here."

It was standing-room-only for the dozens of law enforcement officers, elected officials, well-wishers and other attendees in the main courtroom at the historic Worcester County Courthouse.

Oglesby told them that, growing up, "My mom was judge and jury and my dad was executioner" -- but his father's punishments always fit the crime. He hopes to bring a similar fair and even-handed attitude to his new job.

Friends in Ocean Pines first approached Oglesby to run for state's attorney in 2001 as a Republican. He lost by 14 votes to incumbent Joel Todd, a Democrat, in the 2006 race.

In their November 2010 rematch, Todd lost by 93 votes in a race that again came down to absentee ballots. He has since been hired as an assistant prosecutor for Wicomico County. Todd did not attend the swearing-in.

During the campaign, Oglesby had the unanimous backing of county law enforcement agencies, the chiefs of which all attended in full dress uniform. He thanked them specifically for their support.

"You make me want to be a better prosecutor each and every day," he said. "I do what I do because of you. I will always do my best for you."

Seated at the courtroom tables, Oglesby's family was to his left, and to his right sat Sheriff Mike Lewis of Wicomico County. They first met in 1997 while Oglesby was an assistant state's attorney in Wicomico County and have fostered a friendship between families so close that Lewis' wife, a nurse, delivered both the Oglesby's children.

Lewis said he's watched Oglesby grow in his career into a "masterful prosecutor."

"It's no secret why Beau Oglesby has ascended to where he is today," Lewis said. "I'm so, so proud to stand here today. People need to know Worcester County is in for a real treat. It's a great day for law enforcement and it's a great day for justice."

Oglesby has worked with Todd and his staff since the election, poring though hundreds of pending case files, preparing for his first day on the job. Among them are several homicide cases, including the Feb. 8 murder trial of Justin Michael Hadel, who stands accused of killing Delaware woman Christine Sheddy.

He has already made one personnel change to his office by replacing Deputy State's Attorney Mike Farlow with Cheryl Jacobs, a Baltimore city prosecutor.

"We've been waiting eight years for this," said Terry Pinnix, an Oglesby campaign supporter. "This time, we just shook a lot more hands."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Murder Trial Delay

SNOW HILL -- The trial date for the man accused of murdering a Pocomoke City woman has been bumped from December to February, meaning outgoing Worcester County State's Attorney Joel Todd will not try the case.

"That's the way the democratic system works," said Todd, who lost a bid for his fifth consecutive term to challenger Beau Oglesby. "I certainly would have liked to have been able to prosecute, but the voters decided otherwise, and I accept that. ... I have no reason to believe the case won't be handled ethically and professionally and that justice will prevail."

Christine Sheddy, a 27-year-old mother of two, went missing in November 2007 from a Pocomoke City-area residence. An investigation by law enforcement led to the discovery in February of Sheddy's remains buried in the backyard of a Snow Hill bed and breakfast and the subsequent arrest of Justin Michael Hadel, 20, of Texas.

Hadel was scheduled to face charges of first-degree murder Dec. 7-9 in Worcester County Circuit Court. Because his public defender has requested more time to prepare for the case, the trial date has been moved to Feb. 8-10.

Todd may appear at a motions hearing scheduled for Dec. 9 in the case, though such hearings are sometimes canceled or rescheduled.

Lynn Dodenhoff, the victim's mother who bonded early on in the case with Todd and his staff, has publicly stated Joel Todd was the only man she wanted to prosecute Hadel.

"I have to put my faith in that (Oglesby) knows what he's doing and that he would accept any and all help in this case," said Dodenhoff in an interview. "I would feel more comfortable if it was Joel handling the case, but you're given the cards you're dealt."

Oglesby, currently employed as deputy state's attorney for Caroline County, said with four Worcester homicide cases pending, he's already begun getting familiar with the cases and is in "constant contact" with Todd, his staff of attorneys and members of law enforcement.

"There's a transfer of information that is ongoing," he said. "I'm completely confident in my abilities and, more importantly, the abilities of the members of the State's Attorney's Office and law enforcement that we will be prepared when it comes to trial."

When asked about Dodenhoff's comments, Oglesby declined to get into the details of ongoing cases, saying communication between him and victims of crimes should remain privileged.

Todd said once Dodenhoff gets to know the new state's attorney, "she'll find out that he's a professional, too."

"We have provided Mr. Oglesby with copies of reports; we have done everything we can so he is completely up to speed when he gets sworn in," Todd said. "There is no animosity between he and I. We both have the common pursuit of justice for the citizens of Worcester County.