ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - A member of the Howard County Grand Jury was arrested after he photographed an undercover police officer who was testifying in a case Wednesday, Howard County State's Attorney's Office said.
According to a news release, Julian Warren Hudson, 19, was escorted from the grand jury meeting room, located within the Howard County State's Attorney's offices in Ellicott City, and was subsequently arrested and charged with violating Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article 8-507 of the Maryland Annotated Code, and reckless endangerment. Hudson also allegedly transmitted the image to his girlfriend using the same cell phone on which he used to take the photo.
If convicted of the misdemeanors he faces a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and/or one year in jail on the grand jury secrecy violation, and a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of $500 on the reckless endangerment charge. Hudson was released on his own recognizance after his arrest and has a November 26 trial date in District Court.
Howard County State's Attorney Dario J. Broccolino called the arrest unprecedented.
"The secrecy of grand jury proceedings is a cornerstone of the American judicial system," said Broccolino in a statement. "Additionally, the identification of an experienced undercover officer has been exposed and his future effectiveness severely compromised."
According to the news release, Maryland law requires all grand jury proceedings be kept secret. In addition, each grand juror takes an oath that he or she will not disclose any proceedings before the grand jury, who is charged with deciding whether the state has enough evidence to bring formal charges against a suspect.
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