Mistrial Declared In Milton Orellana Trial

He’s charged with the murder and rape of a Frederick County woman.



Frederick, Md (KM)  A new trial date will be set for Milton Orellana, 24, of Frederick. In Circuit Court on Wednesday, Judge Julie Solt went along with a request from the State and declared a mistrial.

Orellana had been on trial since Tuesday for  the June, 2015 stabbing death of Gloria Watson, 52, an acquaintance who live in an apartment on Heather Ridge Drive.  Both sides had begun their opening statements and had not yet presented their witnesses and evidence in the case.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said the defense, in its opening statements on Tuesday, said Watson was “promiscuous” and engaged in prostitution. “We had argued that the defense council’s opening statements, that she prostituted herself, that she had many Hispanic johns in and out of her apartment, were actually very highly prejudicial because we believed that not to be the case. But most importantly, it violated the rape shield statute in Maryland,” he said.

In addition, Smith said this type of evidence should have been presented in a pre-trial hearing so it could be vetted by a judge.

He also says the assignment office will schedule another trial date. “We tried to get it in next week. It just didn’t happen,” says Smith. “So, unfortunately, it’s going to be delayed due to these misguided statements by the defense council.”

In another case, a Frederick man was sentenced to 30-years in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Burt Tanner, 39, was arrested in August, 2013, and charged with  that offense after police found 51 individual rocks of crack cocaine on his person.

“He actually went into our drug court program, and was terminated from that for chronic non-compliance. The sentencing was postponed,” says Smith.

While out of bail awaiting sentencing, Smith says Tanner was arrested and charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He went before Judge Theresa Adams on Wednesday to learn his fate. “He asked her reconsider that sentence. She denied that request,” Smith says. “The overall sentence is 40-years in the Division of Corrections, with all but 30-years to serve.”

After he’s released from prison, Tanner will be placed on three-years of supervised probation.

“We gave him a chance. We have people who we believe are addicts who are dealing drugs. We give them a chance to come into our drug court program. But what they need to understand is that if you fail out, especially with someone like this with chronic non-compliance, you are going to get a stiff sentence, and that’s what happened to Mr. Tanner,” says Smith.


By Kevin McManus