City man pleads guilty in gun incident

July 22, 1997


Staff Writer

A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court, admitting the state had witnesses that he pointed a loaded gun at his live-in girlfriend on March 21 and pulled the trigger.

Nonetheless, Roger Earnest Heare Sr., 53, of 14225 Oak Springs Road, told Judge John H. McDowell that the allegations were untrue.

Heare was allowed to remain free pending sentencing in the case. Charges of second-degree assault and resisting arrest were dropped in exchange for the plea Tuesday.


A loaded .22-caliber handgun was pointed at Rose Marie Lewis and the trigger pulled, but the gun didn't go off even though there was a bullet in the chamber, Assistant State's Attorney Arthur Rozes said in court Tuesday.

There was a witness to this, Rozes said. The witness was Heare's mother, police reports said.

At an earlier hearing, Heare said he only pulled out the gun for self-protection.

Maryland State Police said they learned that a number of nonemergency 911 calls were made March 21 at around 7:30 a.m. from the home shared by Heare and Lewis.

Less than an hour later, an intoxicated Heare allegedly showed up at the Washington County Narcotics Task Force building demanding police.

Trooper 1st Class T.R. Bequette went to the Oak Springs address and contacted Lewis who told him Heare was in the house.

She told Bequette she was assaulted, police reports said.

After leaving the house briefly, Lewis returned and the gun was pointed at her, police reports said.

Heare, on the other hand, told police his leather coat had been burned and he had been assaulted.

When asked about the gun, Heare told Bequette the gun was in the bedroom but Lewis said he was sitting on it, police reports said.

The trooper moved him and found the loaded weapon under a pillow, police reports said.

Heare and Lewis have lived together for 18 years and have four children, ranging in age from 10 to 15.

"I love him and for 18, 19 years, we've always gotten back together," Lewis said. "But this time, I'm not sure."

Rozes said he believes alcohol is the problem in this case. "He's got to have treatment and jail time over his head," Rozes said.

Defense attorney John Salvatore said Heare had never posed a problem to his family before. He said things got out of hand this time because the police showed up.

McDowell ordered all weapons removed from the home.

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