Donald R. Roberts, a Delaware prosecutor who is currently on leave from his position pending a drunken driving charge, is now facing accusations of breaking and entering into a Maryland home earlier this month.
“You can’t arrest me, I’m a prosecutor,” claimed Roberts to a Harford County, Md., deputy sheriff who arrested him after finding Roberts in the backyard of a Belair home. At the time, the 52-year-old had his Delaware Deputy Attorney General badge and a “pungent smell of alcohol,” according to Harford County District Court records. His attorney, Joe Hurley, said his client was confused and thought he was going into a house where he had been staying.
“He was going to a place that he was going to be living at, it was late at night, it was very dark,” Hurley said. “As it turns out, the place he intended to go was across the street. Apparently it’s a house that’s not directly on the street and you can’t see it.”
The DUI charges his is facing are connected to an Oct. 19 incident in which the state car he was driving veered off Del. 7, hit two mailboxes then stopped in front of a Bear driveway. Responding officers said they found an empty bottle of Canadian Mist whiskey on the passenger-side floorboard. Roberts had an astonishing level of 0.33 in his system, which is four times the state’s legal level of 0.08, according to court documents. He was then immediately placed on leave from the Attorney General’s Office on October 20.
He continues to collect his pay, which was $92,978 in 2007.
His trial on the October charges is scheduled for Feb. 27 at Justice of the Peace Court 15 in Claymont.
With the new charges, a woman was preparing dinner with her children about 6 p.m. Dec. 4 when she heard the door to the rear gate slam. According to police, she then saw Roberts walk to the rear sliding door and try to open the locked door. He demanded to be let in to this women’s house, with whom he had absolutely no relationship with whatsoever. She then accordingly alerted the authorities.
Roberts allegedly told the woman repeatedly to let him in, but according to police, she did not know him and told him “several times to leave because she was in fear for her safety as well as her children’s safety.”
When he would not leave, the woman called police.
Hurley said Roberts told the woman he was lost and informed her of the address for which he was searching. He then stayed and waited for police to arrive.
“When they did arrive, he did not want to get shot and he did tell them that he was a prosecutor from Delaware,” Hurley said. “He did identify himself so that they would know they’re not dealing with a burglar because they were sheriff’s deputies that came with guns drawn.”
Hurley would not comment on why Roberts was in Bel Air. According to the court document, Roberts’ address is the 4600 block of Little Rock Drive in Penny Hill.
Roberts has been charged with two misdemeanors: fourth-degree burglary theft and trespassing. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 3 in District Court.
Update: Donald R. Roberts, the Delaware prosecutor has been removed from office.
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