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Man charged with contempt of court

December 29, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A 33-year-old man was found in contempt of court and ordered to serve six months in jail Thursday after he allegedly assaulted police officers trying to restrain him at the Washington County Courthouse, according to court records and police.

Eugene Powell, who also uses the name Atwan Bostic, was scheduled for a jury trial Thursday in Circuit Court on charges of fake controlled dangerous substance distribute: fraud, possession with the intent to distribute fake cocaine and possess/purchase of a noncontrolled substance, according to court records.

Sheriff's Department Maj. Robert Hafer said Powell's alleged outburst occurred after he and attorneys approached the bench of Circuit Judge John H. McDowell for a bench conference Thursday morning before a jury was seated.

Hafer, who supervises courthouse security, said Powell "was apparently not happy with whatever Judge McDowell told him," and became belligerent during the conference, which was masked by a noise generator that sounds like static.

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He said deputies tried to remove Powell, but he resisted and punched a Maryland State Police trooper who tried to restrain him. Hafer said a deputy sustained a hand injury in the scuffle and was sent to Washington County Hospital to have it examined.

Hafer said police officers in the courtroom for other cases also helped restrain Powell.

According to a court document, Powell is 6 feet 5 inches and weighs 175 pounds.

McDowell ordered Powell, who was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on the drug charges, to serve six months in jail, concurrent with any outstanding sentences.

Hafer said it is "pretty rare" that such an outburst occurs at Circuit Court.

Powell was indicted in July on the charges brought before McDowell Thursday in connection with an alleged Feb. 17 drug deal, according to court records.

Powell has another pending case, in which he is charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of marijuana in connection with an alleged April 10 incident, according to court records.

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