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Judge imposes sentence

August 02, 1998

Last May, a Washington County Circuit Court judge gave Ralph Elmer Metzer a break on a six-year burglary sentence.

In exchange for the suspension of 4 1/2 years of that sentence, the 27-year-old Hagerstown man was to perform 100 hours of community service, pay $690 in restitution, stop drinking and follow up his drug treatment in an aftercare program.

When Judge John H. McDowell learned Thursday that Metzer had done none of those things, he sentenced Metzer to three years in prison.

McDowell also imposed a civil judgment against Metzer in the amount of $690.

"You did nothing," McDowell said, obviously vexed over Metzer's inactivity.

Metzer admitted he hadn't done those things.

"I work all the time and my money is tied up everywhere," Metzer said, adding that he hoped he would be able to keep his job.

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That was not to be.

The burglary conviction stemmed from a Dec. 18, 1996, incident in which Metzer broke into his sister's home in Keedysville and stole guns and a large amount of jewelry.

The crime and Metzer's involvement came to light when Metzer brought a number of the jewelry items to his father's home and told him he was going to clean them and sell them.

The jewelry was recognized as belonging to the victim, court records said.

- Marlo Barnhart

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