- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 17, 2006

EASTON, Md. (AP) - A convicted murderer was mistakenly released last week, then taken into custody a day later.

Brian J. Dancik, convicted of killing his mother at her Pikesville home in 1989, was released Thursday because of a court misunderstanding after he served less than three months of a new seven-year prison term, a state parole commission official said.

Dancik spent years in prison, but got out through a reduced sentence. He then had his probation revoked and ended up back in prison, only to be released accidentally.

“It’s certainly a mistake that we all regret,” David Blumberg, chairman of the Maryland Parole Commission, told the Baltimore Sun. “As soon as we were notified [Friday] of this man’s release, we aggressively pursued other options.”

A bench warrant was issued for Dancik’s arrest Friday night in Talbot County. He reported there Friday morning for his first meeting with an agent of the parole and probation department.

Dancik, 50, was taken into custody Friday at about 10:45 p.m.

He was convicted of beating to death his mother, Veronica Roman, 63, and sentenced to 30 years in prison by Baltimore County Circuit Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr.

The judge agreed in 1999 to reduce Dancik’s sentence to 20 years. He was released in September 2002 and placed on five years’ probation. Five months later, he was arrested in Easton and charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon — a knife, according to the parole commission.

He was convicted and sentenced to the 17 months he had already spent in jail awaiting trial on the knife charge. He was released July 28, 2004.

But fewer than 13 months later, Dancik was back in custody on charges of burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property in Kent County.

A jury acquitted him of those charges, but the state Department of Parole and Probation issued a warrant for him in September 2005, charging him with failure to pay $2,520 in supervision fees and for concerns “that he was a threat to himself or others due to problems with psychiatric issues,” Mr. Blumberg said.

At a May 11 hearing, Parole Commissioner Nancy L. Murphy wrote in her order that she was revoking 1,200 of the 2,400 days of credit that Dancik had earned while in prison for activities such as sharing a cell with another inmate, taking classes and good conduct, Mr. Blumberg said.

That meant Dancik would have to serve about 3 years for technical violations of his release.

However, Mr. Blumberg said Commissioner Murphy misspoke in the hearing by saying she was revoking 200 of his credits, and the oral directive stood.

When Judge Murphy decided June 29 to sentence Dancik to an additional seven years in prison for violating the probation on his 1989 murder charge, he credited the inmate with the time he had served since being locked up on the probation violation in August 2005.

The 328 days of credit, combined with the 2,200 days Dancik had after the discrepancy in the parole commissioner’s orders, meant he had 2,528 days, or almost seven years, of credit. That moved forward his release date from May 15, 2009, to Thursday.

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