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Rapist loses bid to reduce sentence

April 15, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Samuel Leroy Parthemore has failed in his effort to reduce his sentence of two life prison terms plus 20 years for terrorizing a Georgia family vacationing in Hagerstown in 1978.

Washington County Circuit Judge Fred Wright issued his ruling last week after hearing Parthemore's Nov. 12 arguments that his lawyer promised him 18 years ago he would get only one life sentence.

But Wright found that Parthemore's claims of ineffective counsel fell below "the standard of reasonableness'' necessary for a new trial.

Wright said he didn't believe Parthemore's contention that his attorney, Elwood Hauver, had promised him that he was only going to get one life sentence.

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The incident occurred in April 1978 when Parthemore was 21 and his co-defendant, Dale R. White Jr., was 23. Two men 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.

Parthemore pleaded guilty in August 1978 to first degree rape, first degree sexual offense and armed robbery.

Parthemore's attorney, Brooke Murdock, told Wright in November that what Parthemore wants is a deal, perhaps one that would result in his sentence being lowered.

Hauver, now retired, testified that the case was resolved with guilty pleas.

Now almost 40, 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 innocent to the charges against him and stood trial in Garrett County, 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 November 1985 to the Key Medical Center in Baltimore.

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