Agreement Reached in Sex Abuse Case
A plea agreement has been reached in the case of Brian Smith, owner of the Smith Funeral Home in Keyser. He had been accused of the sexual abuse of a teenage boy. His trial was to have begun in four days. He pleaded guilty to battery and will be sentenced next week. The battery charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $500 fine.
Three Charged with Thefts, Vandalism
Three men have been charged in connection with a string of thefts and destructions of property occurring last month in Frostburg, and charges are pending against a fourth. The men-three former Frostburg State University students-are accused of stealing Christmas decorations from private residences. Later, it was discovered that large rocks had been thrown through the windows of a several vehicles and in one instance-through the widow of a residence. Charged were 19-year old Robert Evans Patterson of Elkton, Maryland;18-year old Nicholas Dorsey of California; and, Brandon Shea Nils Mac Murphy of Riva, Maryland. All three were freed on their own recognizance, pending their next court appearance.
Legislation on Natural Gas, Oil Leasing to be Proposed
Delegate Wendell Beitzel and Senator George Edwards will be offering legislation regarding the recordation of natural gas and oil leases during the 2012 legislative session. One of the measures being pursued would require the clerks of the court to file an intake sheet with natural gas and oil leases. The legislation would also require the registration of land agents. With the deadline for introductions quickly approaching, these measures will be submitted soon, and committee hearings will be scheduled.
Rape, Robbery Reported in Bedford County
Two suspects are being sought in connection with an alleged rape that took place early last Saturday morning. The victim said she agreed to drive the two men home from Tony’s Bar in Riddlesburg. One of the suspects asked her to pull to the side of the road, dragged from her car and assaulted. The woman also reported that her cell phone and $200 in cash were stolen. The incident occurred sometime between 12:15 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Saturday along Six Mile run Road in Broad Top Township.
Beitzel Bill To Be Heard Next Week
Delegate Wendell Beitzel has introduced a bill that will be heard before the Senate Appropriations Committee. It would amend the Maryland State Constitution to prohibit the transfer of funds from the two major sources of revenue for Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts in the state. During last year’s session, Governor O’Malley transferred $290 million from the Bay Restoration Fund and the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays 2010 Trust fund, into the general fund. The funds are to be replenished with general obligation bonds, which require additional interest costs and limits the amount of bond funds available for other vital state capital projects.
Somerset Man Killed in Accident
Twenty-eight year old Somerset, Pennsylvania resident Joshua Berkey was killed and his 9-month old daughter was hospitalized in a single-vehicle accident yesterday in Milford Township. The accident happened as Berkey hit a drainage ditch and rolled the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. His daughter, who was secured in a child safety seat, was taken to Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries.
Teacher Accused of Name-Calling
A high school math teacher at Salisbury-Elk Lick school is being accused of berating his students with demeaning and derogatory names during class. The unnamed teacher was discussed during a recent school board meeting. One of the students is the son of Frostburg State University sports and exercise professor John Wright. While the superintendent is taking the complaint seriously, the parents whose children were affected will aceept nothing less than probation for the teacher.
Human Remains Found at Cheat Lake
Police are investigating human remains found at Cheat Lake, near Morgantown, earlier this week. A West Virginia animal research team notified police after noticing something suspicious in the water. The remains were determined to be human. The remains have been sent to the Medical Examiners’ Office for identification purposes. There is no word on whether foul play is suspected.
Four Officers Injured in Scuffle With Inmate
Four Correctional Officers were injured at MCI-Hagerstown Wednesday morning. One officer were preparing to escort an inmate to a medical appointment, when one was struck by the inmate. Three other officers responded and used pepper spray to restrain the inmate. The officer who was hit and three others who were exposed to pepper spray were treated at a local clinic. The inmate will now be transferred to a maximum-security prison.