Deonte Carraway, a Prince George’s County man who is jailed and facing 270 counts for sexually abusing children in an elementary school in Glenarden, Md. recently requested a judge to drop the charges against him, because he has not received adequate legal representation.
Carraway’s handwritten letter, received by the courts on June 15, asked Judge Leo E. Green, Jr. to drop the charges because his legal counsel had neglected to visit or address any of his requests in more than a year.
“I wish for a new attorney or that all charges be dropped,” Carraway said in the letter. “The reason for the request for a new attorney is because I have not seen or heard from my lawyer in over a year. I feel with the poor representation and now finding out my rights have been violated, I wish only to be treated fair.”
His public defenders declined to comment on the letter; however, Green reportedly responded to Carraway, instructing him that the letter had been forwarded to Judge Beverley Woodard, who would preside over his trial. Woodard said that the matter would be addressed at his next hearing, which is scheduled for July 13.
Carraway also said he believed his rights had been violated because trial proceedings had yet to begin within 180 days of charges being filed as mandated by state law. Known as the “Hicks date,” the requirement guarantees expediency in trials. Carraway said he had not signed any documents waiving his right to a fair and speedy trial.
“This man is believed to be a child predator and the evidence acquired by authorities, suggests he is an ongoing threat to our children,” Oxon Hill, Md. resident Isaac Jordon told the AFRO. “I believe in the letter of the law, but if these charges are anywhere near true, he ought to be glad a group of parents have not stormed the jail. Carraway needs to steer as clear of the media as possible.”
Carraway was indicted on state charges that include 23 counts of sex abuse of a minor, 125 counts of sex offense and 122 counts of child pornography. Between August 2015 and February 2016, the former teacher’s aide at Sylvania Woods Elementary School, volunteered at the school and plead guilty to federal charges related to pornography videos of students ranging in age from 9 to 11.
Jonas King, a Ward 8 resident said that many Blacks in the region remain shaken by the allegations against Carraway, who is accused of not only abusing children at the school, but also luring them away from school grounds.
“I think he is beginning to understand the weight of the charges against him and that if convicted, he will never have a moment’s peace, so this guy wants to try to use a loophole to get the charges dropped,” King told the AFRO. “These kids will be scarred for life based on his actions, so whether the 180-day time limit was exceeded or not, the charges should not be dropped.”
Court documents show Carraway’s signature on a Hicks waiver filed with the Prince George’s County Circuit Court in November of 2016 — when he was charged. The waiver “consent(s) to a trial date beyond the 180-day period required by this rule.”