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Charges changed as 'Baltimore Spectator' case moves to court

Blogger faces one gun charge and one resisting or interfering with arrest charge; no longer faces more serious gun charge

By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun

1:50 PM EST, January 11, 2013

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A Baltimore grand jury has indicted Frank James MacArthur, the blogger known as the Baltimore Spectator, but he no longer faces the most serious gun charge brought against him, according to electronic court records.

The charges stem from a December standoff between MacArthur and Baltimore police trying to serve an arrest warrant connected to an alleged probation violation. MacArthur streamed the incident live over an online radio service.

Police said that when they later searched his Waverly home they found a sawed-off shotgun, which formed the basis for two gun charges.

The online circuit court records, which appeared Friday, show that a more serious gun charge MacArthur originally faced is no longer pending, and a resisting or interfering with arrest charge has been added. MacArthur is being held without bail.

Prosecutors had said at a previous hearing that they intended to file second-degree assault charges in connection with threats they say MacArthur made against officers, but there is no indication that they have.

The Baltimore State's Attorney's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why the charges had changed.

The gun charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $5,000. No court date has been set, according to the online records.

iduncan@baltsun.com

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