Derek Dion Curtis, the Prince George's County man who prosecutors said has talked his way out of court on nearly two dozen pending white-collar criminal cases in the last two years, talked himself back into jail yesterday.
Curtis, who has been held without bond at the Prince George's County jail since his arrest last November, rejected a plea bargain deal worked out between his lawyer and the state's attorney's office that would have resulted in concurrent 10-year sentences on six felony charges.
The lawyer-to-lawyer negotiations, which took place in and out of Circuit Court Judge Howard S. Chasanow's courtroom all day yesterday, came to naught late in the afternoon when Curtis informed his attorney that he would rather remain in jail than plead guilty.
"He just decided at the last minute that he didn't want it," said Robert Mance, Curtis' attorney. "I got the impression that he felt he was being pressured."
Court records show that Curtis had appeared before various county judges on theft, fraud and bad check charges numerous times before he was finally arrested at an Annapolis church and incarcerated for the first time in Prince George's County late last year.
Last summer he was also sentenced to serve six months in the Montgomery County Detention Center after conviction on similar charges there, a sentence he never began.
Former employes, relatives, friends and acquaintances of Curtis' have said that he committed the crimes of which he is accused while posing as a minister, a mental health counselor and a psychiatric technician -- all without the necessary credentials.
Chasanow told Assistant State's Attorney Michael Conway that bail is not likely to be set for Curtis before the expected series of trials on his cases begins.
But it is not likely, Conway said, that Curtis will slip through the system again.
"He's up against the wall," Conway said in an interview. "There's nowhere left to slip."