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Man held in abduction case

July 13, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A 20-year-old Pennsylvania man facing charges in the abduction and wounding of a Hagerstown man in late May was being held without bond Friday in the Washington County Detention Center.

Matthew Ross Himelright, of Stroudsburg, Pa., was returned to Hagerstown Thursday from Pennsylvania, where he had been jailed since June 11, according to Investigator Chris Weaver of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

The local warrants charge Himelright with attempted first-and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, carjacking, felony theft, kidnapping and reckless endangerment, Weaver said.

Appearing before visiting Judge Fred Bower Friday, Himelright spoke only to tell the judge what he did for a living.

"I work seven days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day in construction," Himelright said.

But Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion alleged that Himelright wasn't working on May 31 when he and others picked up Philip James Bean for the purpose of stealing his car.

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Local authorities began working with police in North Carolina June 2, trying to learn more about Bean's claim that he was abducted from Hagerstown on May 31 and left for dead nearly 450 miles away.

Bean, 23, was treated for injuries in Asheville, N.C., and released the next day, according to Buncombe County sheriff's deputies.

Bean was found near the town of Arden, bound with bungee cord, a shirt over his head and bleeding from his neck, according to Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford.

Bean told deputies in North Carolina that he gave a ride to two women that night, knowing only that one of them was named Michelle or Zoe.

As Bean and the two women drove around Hagerstown, two men were picked up and the five were riding around in Bean's car when the passengers asked him to drive them to Florida, Weaver said.

When he refused, he was jumped in the Smithsburg area, police said.

He said he was bound, his throat was slit and he was put into the trunk of the car, which ended up in the mountains of North Carolina near the French Broad River.

Facing the same charges in the incident is Zoe Elizabeth Currin, 17, of 12022 Heather Drive, Hagerstown.

Earlier last week, Currin's charges survived a preliminary hearing in Washington County District Court. She will now face trial on those charges in Circuit Court.

Currin is also being held without bond.

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