A motion to dismiss 25 charges against Jerry Lee Beatty, one of two men convicted of raping and murdering Stephanie Ann Roper last spring, has been denied by a Prince George's County judge.
But Circuit Judge Jacob S. Levin agreed to delay Beatty's trial on the charges, which include rape and abduction, to give defense attorneys time to appeal his decision to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
Roper, a 22-year-old Frostburg State College student, was abducted after her car became disabled on a road in southern Prince George's last April 3. Her burned and mutilated body was found April 11 in a swampy area in St. Mary's County.
Beatty, 17, and Jack Ronald Jones, 27, were charged by authorities in St. Mary's with rape, abduction and murder. Jones was convicted by a jury, and Beatty, who was tried as an adult, then pleaded guilty. Each defendant was given two concurrent life sentences, making him eligible for parole consideration after serving 12 years in jail.
A month later, amid loud public protest that the sentences were too lenient, both men were indicted in Prince George's on more than 20 additional counts.
On Monday, Judge Levin rejected an argument by Beatty's attorney that the new charges amount to double jeopardy and "prosecutorial vindictiveness."
Attorneys for Jones are expected to make similar motions for dismissal later this month.