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Prosecutor called to jury duty

April 25, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Washington County State's Attorney Ken Long made a surprise appearance Thursday in the Washington County Circuit Court building as a juror.

Long said he didn't try to use his leverage as one of the county's top law enforcers to get him out of jury duty, but the irony didn't keep others from having a good time at his expense.

"I wanted to do my civic duty. If you get the opportunity to do it, do it," said Long, who usually spends his days upholding the laws of Maryland as the county's chief prosecutor. Until the middle of May, he's also on jury duty.

"I thought he was joking when he told me," said Theresa Adams, one of the assistant state's attorneys who works for Long. Adams was prosecuting an assault case Thursday, and her boss was sitting a few feet behind her in the pool of prospective jurors.

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Even though he was stricken from the criminal case, he didn't escape the long arm of the law. He was seated as a juror in a workers compensation case - not usually known for court room dramatics.

But having Long in the courthouse wasn't all fun and games. Mary Drawbaugh, who was the defense lawyer in the assault case, said the stroke of fate may leave a black mark on her career.

Calling out to Long in his open court room, Judge Donald E. Beachley said with a grin, "Mr. Long, I'm shocked that Mrs. Drawbaugh would want to strike you."

"No comment, your honor," Long said.

During an afternoon recess, Drawbaugh weighed the consequences. On one hand, she said, "I love Mr. Long dearly, but I don't think I'd want him on a jury." But to a group of friends in the hallway, she said, "He's going to hate me forever."

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