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man gets six months for stealing money from friend's girlfriend

December 29, 1998

Described as a "nuisance" by a Washington County Circuit Court judge, a Hagerstown man was sentenced to six months in jail Tuesday for stealing money from a drinking buddy's girlfriend last January.

Johnnie W. Biser, 24, has been in the Washington County Detention Center for 10 months for violation of probation on a prior conviction for assault and battery, according to court records.

"You have shown yourself to be unworthy of probation," said Circuit Judge John H. McDowell.

"You're a nuisance more than anything else."

Originally charged with robbery and second-degree assault, Biser pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft. The other two charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.

McDowell ordered the six-month sentence to be served consecutively to the 10-month term. Restitution was set at $260.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Joe Michael said Cecil Reed contacted Hagerstown City Police on Jan. 4 to report he had been robbed two days earlier by Biser.

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Michael said the two men met at the East End Tavern on Jan. 2 and discussed a loan that hadn't been paid.

Later, using an ATM card belonging to Virginia Needy, Reed's girlfriend, Biser and Reed went to the Harris Savings Bank and made a $200 withdrawal, Michael said.

That transaction was recorded as was a picture of the two men getting the money, Michael said. Another picture showed Biser alone as he later got $60 at another bank.

- Marlo Barnhart

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