A Frederick County motorcyclist was fined $1,000 yesterday after he admitted taking part in a high-speed, semi-naked highway stunt that killed one of his friends as another man filmed the action.
Brandon M. Edwards, 21, pleaded guilty in District Court to a traffic charge of negligent driving and a criminal count of indecent exposure, said Kirsten Brown, chief of the District Court unit in the Frederick County state's attorney's office.
Edwards, of Ijamsville, and Shaun P. Matlock, 21, of Frederick, were performing high-speed stunts and wheelies on sport bikes outside Frederick on Sept. 12 when Matlock lost control of his bike and slammed into a parked tow truck. He died at the scene.
Police said both had been partially clad as they rode, while Benjamin M. Meacham, 22, of Frederick, was filming their stunts for "Holding It Big," an extreme-sports promotion company created by Meacham in Baltimore.
Questions about the video prompted Frederick prosecutors and Maryland State Police to consider charging Meacham with destruction of evidence. But prosecutors ultimately decided not to charge him because they would have had difficulty proving that Meacham destroyed the video, Brown said.
"We can't confirm that the film's destroyed," Brown said. "We have a tape that's blank, but who knows if that's really the tape."
She also said that prosecutors also would have encountered difficulty proving that Meacham had destroyed evidence of a crime, because it was not clear a crime had been committed. Both Edwards and Matlock were adults who voluntarily participated in the stunt, she said.
Meacham, reached by telephone at his home on Upper College Terrace, declined to talk about the case or his company.
"It's a sore subject for me and everybody else," Meacham said.
According to court records, Meacham is scheduled for trial Nov. 29 in Frederick County Circuit Court on unrelated charges of negligent driving, reckless driving, speeding and attempting to elude a Frederick police officer.
Under the guilty plea, Edwards was given "probation before judgment" on the indecent exposure charge, meaning it will eventually be dismissed if he stays out of trouble, Brown said. She said Edwards told authorities he sold his motorcycle and vowed not to ride one again.
Edwards's attorney, Marc Ward, did not return a call seeking comment.