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Hagerstown man pleads guilty in slaying

September 30, 1998|By TERRY TALBERT

A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree felony murder in the August 1997 slaying of Matthew Roy Hovis of Waynesboro, Pa., who was shot behind the Adult Book Store in Hagerstown during a robbery.

David Paul Paschall Sr., 24, who is serving prison time in another case, will be sentenced after the sentencing of his co-defendant in the case, Jerome Bernard Lockley.

Lockley pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder and a handgun violation earlier this month in the same case. He is being held without bond pending completion of a pre-sentence investigation.

In return for the guilty pleas, the state dropped additional charges, including first-degree premeditated murder, against both Paschall and Lockley.

Paschall faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Lockley, who did the shooting, faces a maximum sentence of life plus 20 years.

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Circuit Court Judge Frederick C. Wright III will sentence both men.

In court on Tuesday, prosecutors said they will ask the judge at sentencing to send Paschall to prison for the rest of his natural life.

Prosecutors gave the following account of the crime:

On Aug. 25 at 12:23 p.m., residents called police to say they heard shots fired. Three Hagerstown City Police officers responding to the calls went to the rear of the bookstore at 23 E. Washington St.

The officers heard a noise and found Hovis, 25, on the ground. He had been shot once in the left temple.

Hovis died at Washington County Hospital.

Police subsequently learned that Paschall and Lockley went out that night looking for someone to rob. They hung out at a Baltimore Street car wash for a while, then went to the rear of the bookstore where they surprised Hovis.

Lockley put a gun to his head and told him to freeze. Paschall went through his pockets.

As Paschall turned to walk away, he heard a shot and saw the man on the ground.

The men fled.

A bag containing a handgun and Hovis' personal papers later was found hidden in a downtown alley.

When police searched Paschall's home, they found the victim's watch in Paschall's boot. They also found what turned out to be material containing Paschall's DNA on one of Hovis' personal papers.

The men took $8, a watch, car keys and a wallet from Hovis.

In a statement Paschall made to police, prosecutors said he told them he kept $5 and gave Lockley $3 of the cash.

Paschall told officers that when the night began he didn't think Lockley was really going to rob anyone. He also told police he thought Lockley was carrying a BB gun.

Prosecutors said Lockley told police the gun went off accidentally when he tried to uncock it during the robbery.

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