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Teen sentenced in serviceman's beating

August 09, 1998

A 19-year-old Hagerstown man charged in a Jan. 24 baseball bat attack on a serviceman at a convenience store was slated to serve eight months in jail Thursday.

Frank James Minnich, of 308 E. Wilson Blvd., was given a three-year prison sentence by Washington County Circuit Judge Fred Wright but he suspended all but the eight months, court records said.

Minnich, who pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, was placed on four years' probation and ordered to pay $376 in restitution, court records said.

The incident occurred at 1:30 a.m. at the Snax Convenience Store on Sharpsburg Pike, according to Maryland State Police.

The victim, Jason Bales, told troopers he was attacked by a man with a baseball bat while he was in the store.

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Bales was assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower stationed in Norfolk, Va., police said. He didn't require hospitalization for his injuries.

Minnich was charged with first- and second-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon and reckless endangerment, court records said. The remaining charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.

Last February, Minnich was again in Washington County Circuit Court where he was given probation before judgment on an unrelated drunken-driving charge.

That incident occurred July 21, 1997, when Minnich was pulled over and registered a .16 blood alcohol level, court records said.

- Marlo Barnhart

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