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Judge Excuses Quadriplegic From Drug Sentence; Jail Can’t Accommodate Him

May 7, 1985

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ A 30-year-old quadriplegic was told he wouldn’t have to spend 15 days in jail for possessing 38 pounds of marijuana after a judge learned the jail couldn’t accommodate the wheelchair-bound defendant.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Chester Goudy on Monday reduced the sentence for David J. Church from four years to 15 days in jail, which were to be served at the county jail. Goudy also placed Church on five years’ supervised probation.

The judge said he didn’t want anyone to believe Church could get away with a crime ″merely because of his physical condition.″

Church was arrested Nov. 9 after police found the marijuana in a trash bag inside his house in Glen Burnie.

Church, who is confined to a wheelchair, ″would require us to send him to a hospital where we would have to keep an officer on duty 24 hours a day,″ said Richard J. Baker, the prison warden.

″It’s a strange situation, but we usually don’t see an individual with that kind of handicap coming in here,″ Baker said.

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