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Baltimore Office


July 30, 2014
Via Hand Delivery

Ms. Anne Colt Leitess
States Attorney for Anne Arundel County
7 Church Circle, 2
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Dear Ms. Colt Leitess:
We write to request that you initiate a Grand Jury investigation of Adam Pidel for
first-degree assault, felony murder, and hate crimes.
On June 8, 2013, either Joseph Dale Harvey, Jr. or Adam Pidel threw a Monster Energy
drink can at our client, Detective Joseph Walker, and his minivan as the Walker family traveled
from Route 3 toward I-97 North in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Harvey and Pidel were
traveling in Harveys Honda. Immediately after the can struck the minivan, causing a dent,
Harvey threatened to kill Detective Walker. Harvey, who was white, directed a racial epithet
several times at the Walker family, who are African-American. Pidel, who is also white, was by
Harveys side in the Honda, and we believe also hurled racial epithets at the Walker family.
After Harvey forced the Walker familys minivan off the road, Detective Walker stopped and
checked his minivan for damage. As he was doing so, Harvey and Pidel exited Harveys Honda
and advanced on Detective Walker, his wife, and their three young children. Harvey was armed
with a knife. To protect his family and himself, Detective Walker was forced to shoot Harvey
three times. Harvey subsequently died.
As you must know, first-degree assault occurs when someone causes or attempts to cause
serious physical injury to another. In Maryland, first-degree assault is a felony that carries a
maximum sentence of up to 25 years. As Harvey and Pidel aggressively advanced on the Walker
family, putting them in fear for their lives, it is clear Harvey and Pidels intention was to kill or
cause the Walker family serious physical injury. Their attempt to do so was fortunately thwarted
by Detective Walker.
As you must also know, felony murder is a killing that occurs during the commission or
attempted commission of a felony. The person responsible for the felony can be charged with

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We believe that Adam Pidel, who has a prior assault conviction, committed a first-degree
assault when he attempted to cause serious physical injury to the Walker family. Detective
Walkers killing of Harvey occurred during the commission of a felony; that is, Pidels felonious
assault. Therefore, under the Maryland felony murder statute, we believe that Pidel is legally
responsible for Harveys death.
Under various Maryland statutes, we believe Harvey and Pidel also engaged in hate
crimes when they caused damage to the Walker familys vehicle and then continuously harassed
and threatened them because of their race. This conduct cannot be ignored.
As the United States Department of Justice has written:
Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate
someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or
disability. The purveyors of hate use explosives, arson, weapons, vandalism, physical
violence, and verbal threats of violence to instill fear in their victims, leaving them
vulnerable to more attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful. Others
may become frustrated and angry if they believe the local government and other groups
in the community will not protect them. When perpetrators of hate are not prosecuted as
criminals and their acts not publicly condemned, their crimes can weaken even those
communities with the healthiest race relations.
While we question why you have not yet initiated a Grand Jury investigation into Adam
Pidels conduct, we believe a Grand Jury investigation is certainly appropriate now in light of the
evidence disclosed during the trial in which a jury acquitted Detective Joseph Walker of any
We look forward to your response.
Very truly yours,

Steven H. Levin
Charles N. Curlett, Jr.
201 N. Charles Street
Suite 2000
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Michael T. Cornacchia
260 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10016