Prosecutors in Prince George’s County have compiled a confidential list of criminal defendants they are targeting for long prison sentences, according to a review by the News-4 I-Team.
The target list, which prosecutors internally refer to as the “Bad Boys List,” includes dozens of repeat offenders in the county. An eight-person specialized unit inside the county state’s attorney office is working exclusively on “Bad Boys List” cases, handling a caseload of about 100 ex-convicts facing new criminal charges.
The confidential list, overseen by the state’s attorney’s newly formed Strategic Investigations Unit, has recently included criminals convicted of armed robbery, carjacking and murder. The unit stages regular strategy sessions, crime scene visits and in-home meetings with relatives of crime victims.
One of its high profile cases was the prosecution of Darryl Adamson, who pleaded guilty to murder for the 2013 shooting death of teenager Trey Turner in a grocery store parking lot in Clinton. Turner’s death, captured on video by surveillance cameras, was witnessed by nearly a dozen friends and acquaintances who had also gathered at the parking lot. Prosecutors targeted Adamson for its Strategic Investigations Unit list and a long prison sentence, they told the I-Team, because of his prior conviction for firearms possession.
State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said the names on the unit’s list include only people who’ve already faced serious felony charges in the past. Alsobrooks said those ex-convicts are the people most likely to commit future crimes.
“We have specific criteria for individuals whose cases are going to be handled in this unit," she said. "Sometimes defense attorneys come up to our prosecutors and say, 'Oh God, is our defendant being handled in the Bad Boys Club?'"
A current list of names on the list is not publicly available. A review of county records shows several of the recent cases handled by the unit, including the prosecution of Larry Offutt, convicted of armed robbery and assault for the January 2013 robbery of a cell phone store in Oxon Hill. A judge sentenced Offut to 100 years in prison.
Alsobrooks said the unit specializes in securing particularly long sentences.
“We are seeing 65 year [sentences]. We are seeing 70 years," she said. "We are seeing what will ultimately convert into life sentences.”
Dorothy Engel, a county prosecutor who leads the Strategic Investigations Unit, said the unit is selective.
“When we take cases, we look for prior convictions that give us enhanced penalties," she said. "We are talking about dangerous offenders who are basically using this community as a revolving door.”
County officials said the unit has been a valuable, but costly asset for the community. State aid is needed to fund the attorneys and workload. A spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office said the annual cost is about $1.5 million. It would be a challenge to pay for the unit without grant funding from state officials, he said.