Prince George's County Councilmember Karen Toles (D-Suitland) has been convicted of reckless driving, and fined $402. But a visiting judge from Anne Arundel County offered "probation before judgment", which means the charge will be expunged if Toles stays out of trouble for the next year.
Many new facts came out at the trial, including testimony from several police officers, two of whom drew their weapons after a chase that appeared to exceed 100 miles an hour on the Capital Beltway and 80 miles an hour on Branch Avenue.
Police Lt. Kathleen Mills, who responded to the scene of the traffic stop, said the councilmember told her, "This is why everyone hates the police [in Prince George's County]."
Video from a police cruiser shows an officer speeding his car up to 108 miles an hour in an effort to catch up with the speeding councilmember on the Beltway. That same officer, Cpl. Jos. Brooks, followed Toles on Branch Avenue at 80 miles an hour.
The officer testified that he was so concerned at the speed of the suspect vehicle that he eventually broke off the chase because of worry over what might happen to other motorists. Another cruiser wound up pulling the councilmember's county-owned SUV over.
Toles told several responding officers that she was distracted while driving by talking on her cell phone, texting, and putting on makeup.
The attorney representing Toles, Rosalyn Pugh, told the judge her client has already completed a "driver improvement" course.
Prince George's County police chief Mark Magaw told reporters he definitely does not believe that people "hate the police" in the Maryland county.