Bernstein To Try First Case As State’s Attorney

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gregg Bernstein will try his first case as Baltimore’s state’s attorney this week.

The case involves three police officers accused of kidnapping two Baltimore teenagers and abandoning them. Their trial begins Thursday.

The officers — Milton Smith, Tyrone Francis and Gregory Hellen — are charged with kidnapping the teens in separate incidents in May 2009. Authorities say the officers picked up the 15-year-olds in a police van, and then released one in East Baltimore and one in Howard County. The officers are part of a special unit that focuses on violent crime prevention.

Bernstein, a former federal prosecutor and defense attorney, took office in January. During last year’s campaign, he criticized his predecessor, Patricia Jessamy, for not trying cases herself.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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