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Man charged with stalking sheriff's deputy

September 09, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

A Martinsburg, W.Va., man who allegedly had threatened to kill a Washington County Sheriff's deputy has been charged with stalking and burglary, according to charging documents filed Tuesday in Washington County District Court.

James Maxwell Hammond, 70, of 126 S. Raleigh St., was charged with stalking, trespassing, harassment and third- and fourth-degree burglary, deputies said.

According to the charging documents, Hammond showed up unannounced at Deputy Valerie Weaver's office, followed her to her patrol car and, on Monday, entered her home in Halfway.

Since being assigned to patrol Boonsboro last May, Weaver was sent to a home in that area where Hammond used to live, according to court records. When she was on patrol in that area, he flagged down her patrol car a number of times, according to the charging documents.

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Weaver told deputies that Hammond made numerous false complaints, including reports of people melting into his walls, people entering his home and trying on his clothes, people taking pictures inside his house and people rotating the tires on his vehicle, the charging documents alleged.

Hammond showed up unexpectedly at Weaver's office a number of times and sometimes followed her out to her patrol car, charging papers alleged.

On at least two occasions, according to allegations contained in court records, he threatened to kill Weaver.

Weaver "was visibly shaken and made the statement that she thought the defendant was going to kill her because of his past threats to do this to her," Deputy Jeff Cooper wrote in the charging documents.

Sheriff Charles F. Mades said he plans to talk with Weaver to see if there is anything the department can do to help.

"I just want to make sure she feels safe and comfortable in her work environment," Mades said.

Mades said he did not know why Weaver was being harassed.

Although Mades said the department has fielded complaints from male deputies about harassment from women, it is the first time a female deputy has been harassed, he said.

The alleged harassment culminated on Monday evening when Weaver was washing dishes in the kitchen of her home on Greenmount Avenue, according to the charging documents.

Shortly after 7 p.m., a man entered her home, according to court papers.

The man hid his hands. After repeated requests, he showed his hands, revealing that he was not armed, according to the charging documents.

Weaver asked the man repeatedly to leave before he finally did, according to court records.

A short time later, deputies traced a telephone call Hammond made to the Washington County Sheriff's Department from the Sheetz store on Virginia Avenue.

Cooper arrested Hammond there and seized his vehicle, which was searched. Deputies found a knit ski mask under a jacket on the back seat and a plastic cap pistol that resembled a handgun in the trunk, according to the charging documents.

District Judge Noel Spence set Hammond's bond at $150,000 on Tuesday. Hammond was being held Tuesday night at the Washington County Detention Center.

Hammond is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 1.

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