Prince George's County

DUI Hearing for Prince George’s Councilman Rescheduled

A drunk driving case for Prince George’s County Councilman Mel Franklin was rescheduled after his attorney asked for a jury trial.

Franklin’s attorney, Theresa Moore, made the request Monday in Prince George’s County District Court, though no trial date was set.

The case will go before a jury in Circuit Court because cases in District Court are heard before a judge who makes the final decision on traffic infractions, burglaries and other offenses. To avoid a potential conflict of interest, Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle O’Grady will prosecute the case.

Moore declined to comment after leaving the courtroom.

According to the county’s District Court website, a defendant has a right to a jury trial for any misdemeanor offense that carries a punishment of more than 90 days in jail.

Franklin, 41, was charged in November with driving under the influence, negligent driving and other offenses after he rear-ended a vehicle at a traffic light at Pennsylvania Avenue and Dower House Road in Upper Marlboro. Both passengers in the other vehicle received treatment at a local hospital.

Franklin (D-District 9) of Upper Marlboro was driving a county vehicle at the time of the crash, forcing the county council to create a Vehicle Use Review Board, which will examine the county’s vehicle policy.

According a news release Wednesday from Council Chairman Derrick Leon Davis, three residents serve on the board: Jacqueline L. Brown, a business executive and former director of community and government affairs at Prince George’s Community College, community activist Samuel A. Epps IV and Enor Williams Jr., an engineer who also serves on the board of trustees for the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund.

The board anticipates starting next month and submitting recommendations by June 30.

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