OXFORD — An 18-year-old Brooklyn man who was driving a car that hit and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian in Oxford this summer is scheduled to face a Jan. 7 jury trial in a Worcester County Circuit Court for unrelated felony and misdemeanor drug charges.
Dante Marquis Kane was charged on June 12 in Worcester County with possession of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to distribute — charges that stemmed from discoveries made by law enforcement during a June 11 search of Kane’s vehicle in Ocean City.
Kane entered a plea of not guilty to both drug charges on Aug. 8 and requested a speedy trial by jury, court records stated.
Kane has not yet been charged in Talbot County for his alleged role in the July 1 death of Edith Jane Beglin of Oxford, who police said died immediately after Kane’s car hit her as she tried to walk across Oxford Road shortly after 6 p.m.
Beglin was the Oxford Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary president. She was walking to a meeting at the firehouse when she was fatally struck by the vehicle. Beglin’s death was investigated by the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Oxford Police Department and the Maryland State Police.
Talbot County State’s Attorney Scott Patterson said in a statement, “The investigation has been forwarded from the Sheriff’s Department to our office and is under review.”
The June 11 incident for which Kane is on trial occurred just after 11:30 p.m., when a bicycle patrol officer with the Ocean City Police Department initiated a search of Kane’s silver Infiniti G35x. The officer reported approaching the vehicle, which was parked in a parking lot, and observing and smelling what appeared to be marijuana, court documents stated.
The officer asked the person in the driver’s seat, identified as Kane, and three others in the vehicle to step out as he conducted the search. The search yielded a clear, plastic bag containing 20 clear pill capsules with “grainy white powder inside” found in a gray backpack; a large, clear plastic bag containing less than 10 grams of marijuana on the rear seat; two digital scales with marijuana residue on them; and other marijuana paraphernalia, documents stated.
Kane claimed ownership of the gray backpack in which the pills were found, but when the officer asked him about the pills’ contents, Kane reportedly did not respond and immediately put his head “straight toward the ground.”
The officer stated in court documents that he knew the white substance in the pill capsules to be heroin based on his officer training and based on confirmation from an “experienced narcotics detective” who also was on the scene and suspected the substance was heroin.
The officer noted there weren’t any items in the vehicle related to heroin use, “such as burnt spoons, straws or hypodermic needles,” which led the officer “to be believe the sole purpose Kane had 20 pill capsules containing heroin in his possession was to sell and distribute heroin capsules in Ocean City,” court documents stated.
The officer placed Kane in handcuffs, read him his rights and then asked Kane if he would like to speak to him, to which Kane responded “yes.” When asked whether the substance would harm officers, Kane reportedly said, “I would glove up,” and “it might test positive” for heroin.
Kane reportedly told officers “he did not have a job and his friend gave him the heroin to sell so he could make some money.” Kane said his friend gave him the substance about two months earlier, documents stated.
When asked whether he or anyone in the car used heroin, Kane replied “no” and said he was planning on throwing it out. The officer reported noting that Kane contradicted his previous statement of his plans to sell the substance.
Kane was arrested following the incident and later released on a $5,000 bond paid by a bail bondsman, according to court documents. He is expected to appear at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7, in Worcester County Circuit Court.
Kane’s trial initially was scheduled for Nov. 4, 2019, but Worcester County Circuit Court Judge Brian Shockley granted a request by Worcester County Assistant State’s Attorney Joaquin M. Cabrera to postpone the trial to Jan. 7 to allow time for the state to obtain the results of a chemical analysis, court documents stated.