18 years after sentencing, inmate seeks a deal

November 14, 1996



Staff Writer

Eighteen years after he was sentenced to two life terms plus 20 years for terrorizing a Georgia family vacationing in Hagerstown, Samuel Parthemore was back in court Tuesday.

Now nearly 40 years old, Parthemore complained that back in 1978, his lawyer promised him he would get only one life sentence - a promise he said wasn't kept.

Washington County Circuit Judge Fred Wright wanted to know why Parthemore waited so long to bring up this claim.

A post-conviction hearing is the last legal recourse when all appeals have been exhausted. The main complaint that can be raised in post conviction is ineffective representation by an attorney.


Parthemore said there was no money for an attorney until recently.

Wright took the matter under advisement.

The incident occurred in April of 1978 when Parthemore, then 21, and his companion, Dale R. White Jr., then 23, accosted the teenage son of a Hepzhibah, Ga., family outside a Ramada Inn room and forced him into the room at gunpoint.

The pair then robbed the family, sexually assaulted the two daughters, aged 15 and 17, and raped the 39-year-old mother, while forcing the husband and son to watch.

"I wouldn't want this to be tried again,'' Parthemore said.

His attorney, Brooke Murdock, told Wright that what Parthemore wants is a deal.

Elwood Hauver, now retired, was Parthemore's lawyer in 1978 when the case was resolved with guilty pleas.

"The records of this case are unavailable now but I did peruse the transcript,'' Hauver said. Other than what he read, Hauver said, his memory had faded.

"That's the problem - 18 years have passed,'' Wright said.

Parthemore claims that there was a binding agreement with then Washington County Circuit Judge John Corderman to limit his sentence to one life term in exchange for Parthemore's testimony against the co-defendant.

White pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and stood trial in Garrett County, Md., where the proceedings had been moved because of pretrial publicity.

He was convicted and sentenced to four life sentences plus 100 years, according to court records.

White attempted suicide while in prison in 1984 and lapsed into a coma, according to Division of Correction information.

He was paroled in Nov. 1985 to the Key Medical Center in Baltimore.

Hauver said that as a public defender representing Parthemore, he would have sought such a binding agreement, but has no specific memory of doing so.

Nothing in the transcript of the proceedings indicated that there was a binding agreement as to sentence, all parties agreed Tuesday.

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