Youthful Defendant Unit
Office of the Public Defender
217 E. Redwood Street
10th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 2120
Phone: 410
Fax: 410
Email: ydu@opd.state.md.us

Commonly Used Numbers:
OPD Central Booking
410 209 4437
OPD Baltimore City Main Number
410 333 4900
OPD Baltimore City Juvenile Court
443 263 6360
BCDC
410 209 4001
Eager Street Academy
410 209 4091
BCJJC
443 263 8998

Youthful Defendant Unit | Meet the Staff

Bob Linthicum is the acting supervising attorney for the Youthful Defendant Unit.  Mr. Linthicum has more than 15 years experience as a public defender. Bob started his career on the Eastern Shore, representing children and adults charged with felonies and misdemeanors. He moved to the Felony Division of the Baltimore City office in 2004 where he gained a reputation for taking on tough cases. He joined YDU in 2011. Bob graduated from the University of Baltimore law school.

Elizabeth Lopez joined YDU in 2012.  Born and raised Los Angeles, Elizabeth left a successful career as a public defender in Seattle to join our team. She has experience representing clients charged with serious felonies in both juvenile court and adult court. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College.

Bea Zipperle is an experienced licensed clinical social worker with a master’s degree in clinical social work, a bachelor’s degree in human services administration, and an associate’s degree in mental health. She has particular expertise in the assessment and treatment of trauma, adolescent development, and mental health assessment of juveniles. Her work focuses on waiver and transfer cases, as well as monitoring conditions of confinement for juveniles housed in both adult and juvenile facilities. She is an expert on programming and placement options for juveniles committed to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. She regularly teaches attorneys and social workers in areas such as trauma and juvenile placement. Ms. Zipperle is routinely qualified as an expert witness in waiver and transfer cases and has testified throughout the State of Maryland. She joined the Office of the Public Defender in 2005.  Bea also serves as a supervisory social worker for OPD juvenile social workers in Baltimore City.

Nikia Dorsey is a licensed clinical social worker who joined the Youthful Defendant Unit in 2016. She began working with Office of the Public Defender in 2014 as a forensic social worker with the Adult Felony defense team in Baltimore City. Her clinical assessments and treatment recommendations for adult clients were often relied upon to determine effective and appropriate alternative interventions to address the clients' mental health needs. Nikiana is a graduate of Morgan State University where she earned her Masters of Social Work, specializing in Urban Children, Youth, and Families. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Human Development and Family Science from Messiah College. Nikiana has advanced experience in working with children and youth in the child welfare and foster care system. She also has particular expertise in the assessment of child maltreatment and trauma-specific mental health needs, crisis intervention, and utilizing therapeutic interventions to prepare youth for independent living. Her previous work experience involved providing therapeutic services to at-risk foster care and adjudicated children and youth throughout the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. Nikiana is an active member of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society-Kappa Zeta Chapter in Baltimore, Maryland.

Karla Martinez is an experienced paralegal who joined YDU in 2014.  After living in New York for more than 20 years and working for private firms handling a variety of cases, she moved to Maryland to work for the Office of the Public Defender and work with children charged as adults.  Karla was born and raised in Guatemala and serves as an important resource for our Spanish-speaking clients and client families.  She attended SUNY - Old Westbury and graduated with a bachelor's in economics and plans to attend law school soon.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling, decorating, food tasting and dancing.