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Man sentenced in walker attack

March 17, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A 41-year-old man was sentenced in Washington County Circuit Court Monday to an additional year and a day in prison for beating his former girlfriend with his walker nearly two years ago.

William Michael Dinenna pleaded guilty to battery. An assault charge was dropped.

He already is serving six years in prison for a 1995 arson at a Hagerstown auto upholstery shop owned by the same former girlfriend's father.

Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion told Judge Darrow Glaser that Patricia Oldham called Hagerstown City Police on Aug. 18, 1995, after she was attacked in the 100 block of East Avenue.

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She told police he hit her in the face several times with his walker. Oldham also had abrasions on her body and a large bite on her arm.

Dinenna told police it was Oldham who picked the fight that night.

At the time Dinenna was recuperating from injuries suffered when he was run over several times in June 1995 by the new boyfriend of that same ex-girlfriend.

"He threatened me and my family," Oldham said in court Monday. "I want him to do some prison time and then have no contact with my family."

In addition to the criminal conviction for arson and now battery, Dinenna faces a civil judgment for nearly $100,000 in damages in the fire incident involving Oldham's father.

Several witnesses said they saw Dinenna shouting threats at the owner of the building on the day before the Aug. 27, 1995, fire.

Fire and rescue units were called to Neat Trim Auto Upholstering, 422 S. Burhans Blvd., at 10:40 p.m. that night, fire department officials said.

The one-story, corrugated metal building had been vandalized, officials said. Orange paint had been splashed on the side of the building.

Dinenna, who is serving his arson sentence at the Maryland Correctional Institution, asked Glaser for concurrent time in the battery conviction so that he could get out to help nurse his ailing father in Germantown, Md.

Glaser found no mitigating factors in the attack on Oldham.

"You're not just a large man, you are a huge man," Glaser said.

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