“No justice, no peace” for victim of horrific DUI crash
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 29th November 2018
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In this photograph, the one on the left failed to obey the county code, the one in the middle continues to dole out plea deals, and the one on the right continues to dole out cash. (Photo credit: The Baltimore Sun)

We will get to the “Art of the Deal” in a moment. First, let’s take a brief look at the egregious crime that shattered the lives of two innocent people.

Some of our readers may remember a horrific accident that took place on Merritt Boulevard that was the topic of previous columns. Here is a brief recap of the incident:

The first part of the incident happened in front of the entrance to the Giant store in Dundalk. Police said the suspect struck a vehicle in the southbound lanes of Merit Boulevard and, in an attempt to flee the scene, crossed into the northbound lanes of Merritt Boulevard and fled south to the intersection of Westfield Road. That is where he struck two more vehicles, sending one person to Shock Trauma Hospital and another victim to JHU Bayview. The latter victim had potentially life-threatening injuries.

The DUI crash left one victim’s permanently disabled husband left pondering how he will ever pay for the couple’s ongoing medical expenses. Adding insult to injury was the sweetheart deal provided by Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

Here is a photo of the convicted DUI driver, Kelby Tews:

Kelby Tews (Photo credit: Baltimore County Police Department)

Mr. Tews destroyed the lives of two innocent people and walked away with the blessing of Mr. Shellenberger.

With that in mind, we find it quite disturbing that Mr. Tews’ driving record features two additional charges after the DUI in Dundalk. He was charged in Baltimore City with driving without a license and driving without a license in his possession. Both cases were not prosecuted by the city.

Are you starting to get the idea about how ridiculous this plea deal by our state’s attorney is?

The Baltimore Post has been in contact with the DUI crash victim’s husband, Mr. Rick Church. He described in vivid detail how repeat DUI offender Mr. Tews had destroyed his family’s lives.

Below are photographs of the victim’s car after the accident.

Mr. Church’s wife was trapped inside his vehicle after being broadsided by Mr. Tews, who then tried to flee the scene on foot.

Mr. Church advised The Baltimore Post that he received a call from Mr. Shellenberger’s office advising him not to appear for a hearing because Mr. Tews’ defense attorney said his client would pay restitution. That particular phone call which came in August 2018, which was the last time Mr. Church spoke to anyone from Mr. Shellenberger’s office regarding the case.

Mr. Church also stated that doctors told him that his wife’s injuries would life altering. Since both Mr. and Mrs. Church worked full-time, they have lost half their household income in addition to being faced with tremendous medical expenses, which may go on indefinitely.

More bad news for the Church family: Mr. Tews’ insurance policy was capped at $30,000, and he has declared bankruptcy since the accident.

After getting this update, the Post did our due diligence by sending a follow-up email to Mr. Shellenberger’s office:


The Baltimore Post is doing a follow-up regarding the DUI case of Kelby Tews.

Our information indicates that according to the adjudication of this offense, the defendant was ordered to pay a certain amount of restitution to the victim of this DUI offense. We have been advised by the victim that the defendant has made no attempt to abide by the conditions of his probation.

The victim of this horrific accident has been crippled for life still faces major medical expenses. We have also had been advised that Mr. Tews has declared bankruptcy.

The Post has been advised by the husband of the victim that the last conversation he had with your office was with a Mr. Dauphine regarding a hearing in which the defendant’s attorney stated they would pay restitution agreed upon in the plea deal. This conversation took place sometime in August. The husband of the victim a Mr. Rick Church also stated he was advised not to appear at a hearing due to the proposed settlement in the proposed payment of restitution.

To this date, the victims have not received one penny from the defendant involved in this horrific crime. He is also not received any contact from your office concerning this matter.

Our question is, does this lack of payment constitute a violation of probation and what is your office planning to do in this matter?


We received this reply:


Mr. Beeler,

The restitution hearing was cancelled because the Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) was told the money would be paid immediately.  The ASA is checking on this today and if not paid, another restitution hearing will be scheduled.  I told the ASA to not cancel it no matter what.  Yes, this constitutes a Violation of Probation.


Hopefully, Mr. Shellenberger will actually keep his word and take action on this long-overdue travesty.

One would think that any reasonable prosecutor, given the circumstances of this case, could see the writing on the wall. However, in this particular case, justice was indeed blind.

Sadly, Mr. Church is a victim of both the criminal justice system and the voters who returned Mr. Shellenberger into office for another four-year term. That is a tragedy for the citizens of Baltimore County.

How long until the voters learn that criminals are scamming the system and no one seems to care about the victims?

Sadly, two people’s lives are destroyed at both a physical and emotional level, not to mention the financial burden they may never be able to overcome. Hopefully, The Baltimore Post can provide some assistance by pushing Mr. Shellenberger’s office to ensure that justice is done, even though the defendant continues to walk the streets as a free man.

 

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