No Bond for Man Police Say Secretly Recorded Ellicott City Women

Prosecutor labels Michael McKenny as a 'serious risk' to public safety.


A Columbia man who police say secretly taped two women in their Ellicott City home is being held in the Howard County Detention Center. 

Michael Stephen McKenny was being held on $100,000 bond after his arrest on the evening of Friday, Oct. 19. At a bail review hearing Monday, District Court Judge Mary C. Reese ordered McKenny to be held without bond after Howard County Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Vaira cited the him as “a serious risk to public safety, the disturbing nature of the charges, and his prior criminal record,” according to Howard County State’s Attorney spokesperson Wayne Kirwan. 

According to charging documents, a 29-year-old Ellicott City woman contacted police on Sept. 4 and said she found a hidden camera in her bedroom that was focused on her bathroom.

During the investigation, police determined that the camera had a motion sensor that began recording once it detected movement. According to the charging document, the camera had recorded the 29-year-old and her 30-year-old roommate in the bedrooms and bathrooms of their Montgomery Run Road condominium. Both women said they had not given McKinney permission to record them.

According to the time stamps on the videos, police determined that the suspect first entered the condo on June 26. He returned at least four times to move the camera from a bedroom to a closet, and again to move the camera to a higher position in the closet, aimed at the bathroom, according to the charging document.

The camera also had footage of a man whom police could not identify during the initial investigation. On Thursday, Oct. 18, police released video footage of the suspect to the media. The next night, McKenny.

He was charged with visual surveillance with prurient intent, camera surveillance, and burglary.

Related articles:

- Police: Man Secretly Videotaped 2 Ellicott City Women

- Police Arrest Suspected 'Peeping Tom'

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This story has been edited.

Cola MD October 23, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Surprised they actually held this guy. Why not just let him out like the two criminals responsible for kicking in people's front doors and robbing them? What ever happened with that case? Some follow-up would be nice, ya know what I mean Patch. Seeing as how that story had more comments than just about anything you've reported on in the last year...
Greg G. October 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Agreed Cola. I am deeply disgusted that no one here will post the commissioner's name that set the bail at $15k for these two dregs of society. As I understand it they had a much longer record then this filth above.
Dave A. October 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Yes, but they posed no risk to folks.. This guy had a history of Sexual Assault. Not saying I agree with the commissioner that set the other two free awaiting trial, but that is why. This guy had done this "recording" to several different victims that have yet to be discovered. As for a follow up there is nothing to report until they go to trial.... As for the commissioners name you should be able to obtain that thru court records if you want it badly enough.
Cola MD October 24, 2012 at 02:52 PM
What do you mean they posed no risk??? They busted into peoples homes and ransacked and stole stuff!!! And they had a history of such crimes going back years. That sounds like a risk to me. Do you really think these criminals should be out walking the streets with nothing to do except awaiting trial? I'm surprised the Howard County Police Chief has not issued a statement about this, since the whole thing makes his Dept. look like a bunch of fools after having issued a "warning" to County residents to be vigilant, only to have them caught and turned lose a few hours later. Sounds like we need new leadership in Howard County at many different levels to correct the complacency and failure I've seen displayed by the case of these two criminals.
Jack M October 24, 2012 at 03:01 PM
There is a history in Howard County of commissioner's releasing defendants on ridiculously low bail. Instead of getting better, they continue to get worse.
Dave A. October 24, 2012 at 05:03 PM
HCPD will not look like fools. They were released as they posed no PHYSICAL threat to people. They had no violent attacks. There crimes did not accelerate to physical violence. The other guy had a past history of 2nd degree rape. As well as entering, then re-entering womens homes over and over to place or remove cameras. His past history, coupled with the sexual preadtor nature of his attacks could have accelerated to PHYSICAL threats to citizens. It has been documented in other cases that sexual crimes generally do become violent over time. This guy already showed he had the potential for physical violence. I don't agree with the release of the two burglary suspects on low bail. I am sure the police do not either. As for their request for the community to become vigilant, and watch for unusual people in the neighborhoods that was to speed up their ability to catch them before more valuable personal property was stolen. This is the world we live in today, like it or not. If we kept everyone in jail for every crime we would have no room for residential neighborhoods, malls, schools etc.. Everything would be a prison!
Dave A. October 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Ok so I have solved part of the problem.... We will build a prison in each community in the county so we have enough space to house ALL of our criminals. Sorry to those whose homes need to go to condemnation for said prisions, and to those living near them for the drop in property values....
Travion Martin October 24, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Greg G and In the middle...You both seem to be very upset with how the judicial system operates. Maybe you both should think about applying to be Commissioner's in Howard Co. Maybe you all could provide some guidance to the professionals who do their jobs daily. You both seem to be extremely upset and dramatic. I should remind the both of you that threatening a State Official in Maryland is a crime, so you both should choose your words wisely in any statements that you write on a blog. Also you both have too much time on yours hands and need to get a LIFE!!!
k October 25, 2012 at 01:34 AM
The Commissioner is not a professional and there is absolutely NO requirement for any specific qualifications. This is a polical appointment obviously made without competitive selection. Probably just a friend or family member of big a political donor.
Greg G. October 28, 2012 at 07:42 AM
Travion spoken like a person who thinks he knows everything and knows nothing.And no one threatened anyone. LEARN TO READ, before you speak. I have an associate degree in criminal justice. My father was a police officer for over 40 years, and half my family servers in the criminal justice system. The commissioner's office is paid by tax dollars and works for you and me.They should always be held accountable for their actions and must be able to answer/justify for their decisions at any time. And Dave A. career criminals like these eventually do commit violent crimes as anyone that knows anything about profiling will tell you.They are typically stealing to feed drug habits that make them irrational and react violently if they believe they are cornered. My personal opinion on how they should be handled is much worse than what I stated, but if you compare their bails to other similar offenses in HoCo they were let out too low. Many times I have held HoCo accountable for their actions and will continue to do so as absolute power, corrupts absolutely.
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