Man killed in crash into trees had been judged mentally incompetent to stand trial for arson threats but was still behind the wheel
WALDORF, MD. — A man who Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry reports was killed in a crash on June 3, 2016, had been charged with arson in 2014 and assorted charges of disorderly conduct in 2012 but the charges were suspended due to his mental competency. Court records reflect a troubled life of constant incarceration and mental health treatment in the prison system but none of that prevented him from sharing the road with unsuspecting motorists.
Charles County Sheriff’s investigators have identified the driver of an SUV who was killed in a car crash on Trinity Church Road last Friday as Clifton Vernon Graves, 49, of Charlotte Hall. On June 3 at 7:14 p.m., officers responded to the 9200 block of Trinity Church Road in Charlotte Hall for the report of a single-vehicle car crash. A preliminary investigation showed Graves was traveling northbound on Trinity Church Road when for unknown reasons he lost control of the vehicle, drifted off the roadway and then slid across both lanes of travel onto a grassy area where the SUV overturned and struck several trees. Graves was pronounced deceased on the scene. Members of the Traffic Operations Unit are investigating.
Court records show that the arson threat charges have been inactive due to mental incompetency, which somehow didn’t affect his ability to drive in Maryland.
Toxicology reports from the Maryland State Medical Examiner are generally available in several weeks to reveal the amount of, if any, alcohol or drugs in his system.
Graves, of 2169 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Md., and formerly of Leonardtown, Md., had been charged by Charles County Officer Christopher Long on Dec. 21, 2014 with making a threat of arson on Dec. 20, 2014. Court records show that the charges have been inactive due to mental incompetency, which somehow didn’t affect his ability to drive in Maryland. A slew of charges brought on Sept. 20, 2012, also were put on an inactive status by Charles County States Attorney Tony Covington, according to court records.
While a resident of the State Prison system in 2004, Graves sought to file suit against the prison health system, perhaps also due to his incompetency. The case was dismissed along with many other lawsuits he filed.
His time away at the Maryland prison came about due to his guilty plea to tampering with an electric meter, theft and other charges. In a plea deal on May 27, 2003, he was given 8 months in jail.
Various other charges of reckless endangerment, disorderly, trespassing and assault were dropped in St. Mary’s County District Court by States Attorney Walter B. Dorsey on June 8, 1995. Numerous charges of telephone misuse and harassment were filed against him in Prince Georges and Charles with most of them resulting in being put on the Stet Docket.
His obituary requested friends to donate directly to Raymond Funeral Home which provided his funeral due to no other means of payment being available. Send Directly to Raymond Funeral Service, P.A. P. O. Box 422 La Plata, MD 20646.