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Man given five years

January 09, 1998

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A Washington County Circuit judge Thursday reluctantly agreed to a five-year prison sentence for the gunman in a 1996 attempted murder case described by the prosecution as "drug dealers against drug dealers."

Visibly displeased with the situation, Judge John H. McDowell nonetheless said he understood the prosecution wanted to ensure a felony conviction in the case of Odessa "Psych" Cash.

McDowell then sentenced Cash to 15 years in prison, but suspended all but five years, for attempted first-degree murder, and a five-year concurrent sentence for carrying a handgun with intent to injure.

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During a five-year probationary period, Cash may not possess weapons or use or possess drugs, McDowell said.

Cash, 24, of New York City, had been charged with two counts of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and two counts of assault and battery in the Jan. 13, 1996, shooting of Eric Michael "Boo" Turner of Hagerstown.

Turner, 22, recently was convicted in the October 1996 shooting death of Jennifer LaBelle Folmar, a 23-year-old Bunker Hill, W.Va., woman who was fatally shot and stabbed in a car along a Shepherdstown, W.Va., street.

Also not present was witness and intended victim David Shelton, who is awaiting trial on bank robbery and carjacking charges in Washington County.

"Shelton was to have been here today," said Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Duane Gigeous. "The Division of Correction dropped the ball."

Gigeous said he understood the plea agreement went against McDowell's grain.

"It was important to the state that there be a felony conviction in this case," Gigeous said, noting that the outcome of a trial could not be predicted.

The agreement came after lengthy discussions between McDowell, Gigeous, Cash and his attorney, Terry Lavenstein.

According to Hagerstown City Police reports, Turner was shot in the shoulder and leg in the 900 block of Main Avenue in what police called a drug-related shooting.

Turner, Shelton and several others were apparently walking back to a party on Main Avenue when Cash approached and told them they weren't allowed in that "territory," police reports said.

Witnesses said Cash pulled a handgun and began shooting, police reports said.

When charged in the shooting, Cash was in the Washington County Detention Center awaiting trial on charges he cut Kevin L. Sanders in August 1996, police said. Those charges are pending.

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