Former Miss Maryland exits stage of criminal case
A former Miss Maryland USA caught up in a drug investigation was placed on probation Monday under terms that leave her without a conviction from the case on her record.
Tia Shorts, who won the crown in 2004, was granted her attorney’s request for probation-before-judgment.
The court "will strike the guilty finding," Montgomery County Circuit Judge Paul H. Weinstein said from the bench.
Shorts, 30, faces one year of unsupervised probation. She didn’t speak during the hearing, and declined to comment afterward. But Shorts indicated she will speak publicly about the case soon.
Police originally charged her with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana in a case that also led to the drug-related arrests of her boyfriend and his brother and their mother, who was police said was found with a bag of white powder in her “bra area.”
Prosecutors dropped those charges against Shorts. She pleaded guilty in August to obstructing and hindering a police investigation.
At Shorts’s sentencing hearing Monday, prosecutor Amy Bills said Shorts hadn’t been in any trouble since the arrest. “No contact with the criminal justice system at all, your honor,” she told the judge.
David Simpson, Shorts’s attorney, said the probation before judgment also paves the way for him to have her arrest records expunged down the road.
-- Dan Morse
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