Police log 9/29

September 29, 1999

SHARPSBURG - A wanted man found sleeping in his car led Washington County Sheriff's deputies on a chase through Keedysville and Sharpsburg before he was apprehended in West Virginia Tuesday morning.

Deputy First Class Kenny Barnhart was checking out a car parked in the area of General Hill Circle, Sharpsburg, around 8 a.m. when he found three people sleeping in a Honda Accord.

The driver, Eric Brandon Derr, 20, of 20127 Benevola Church Road, Keedysville, was found to be charged in three outstanding arrest warrants with failure to appear in Washington County District Court, police said.

As Barnhart waited for backup units to arrive, Derr started up the car and drove away, he said.

Deputies chased him south on Burnside Bridge Road, then north on Mount Briar Road, through Keedysville then back into Sharpsburg.

He continued west on Md. 34 into Shepherdstown, W.Va., where West Virginia State Police took over the pursuit.


Troopers chased the car a short distance before it stopped on W. Va. 480, two miles from Shepherdstown.

Derr was reportedly being held in West Virginia pending extradition to Maryland but there was no record of him at the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg this morning.

The Washington County Detention Center said they hadn't received Derr yet.

In addition to the charges in the three original warrants, Derr was charged with traffic offenses including fleeing and eluding.

A counterfeit $20 bill was passed Tuesday at the AC&T station at 1449 South Potomac Street, according to Maryland State Police.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Hedgesville, W.Va., man was charged with 37 counts of forgery after his adoptive mother told police he stole personal checks and a credit card she kept in a drawer, according to court records.

Dennis Ray Stearns, 30, of Route 4, Box 321, was charged with felony forgery and held on $55,000 bond in the Eastern Regional Jail, according to jail officials this morning.

Margaret Stearns called West Virginia State Police in Martinsburg Aug. 2 after she received account statements that showed her checks and credit card had been used at a grocery store and several convenience stores around Berkeley County, according to court records.

Most of the purchases were in the $20 to $30 range, according to court records.

Conviction on each charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to court records.

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - Preliminary results from an autopsy performed on a woman who was found dead in the Hilltop House Hotel last Saturday indicates there was no foul play in the death, according to Harpers Ferry Police Chief Charles Wyndham.

The findings were made after the body was taken to the state Medical Examiner's office in Morgantown, W.Va., Tuesday for an autopsy, Wyndham said.

Although medical examiners found no sign of foul play, Wyndham said he will continue to treat the death as a homicide until a complete autopsy report is completed.

Wyndham said he believes he knows the identity of the person, but is withholding the name until next of kin can make a positive identification.

The woman, believed to be in her mid-40s, was found dead in Room 125 of the hotel on Ridge Street.

The woman had been renting a room at the hotel since June, police said.

FREDERICK, Md.- Motorists concerned about a pickup truck all over the road and off both sides of U.S. 340 just after midnight today worked together to stop the vehicle and detain the driver until police arrived.

Maryland State Police sped to South Mountain Road at 12:05 a.m. and took over the detention of Holmes Isaac Stoner, 19, of Mountain Church Road in Middletown.

Stoner was found to be the driver of the Isuzu pickup truck, police said. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and possession of a knife and a ninja weapon, police said.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A burglary at the Ice Cream House late Tuesday is being investigated by Pennsylvania State Police.

Around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, a man forced open a window to the rear of the building at 4550 Lincoln Way East and stole $800 in cash before leaving.

The man, described as black, 5 feet 7 inches tall, was last seen fleeing on food on U.S. 30 possibly toward a waiting vehicle.

He was wearing a yellow jacket with dark sleeves and dark pants.

FREDERICK, Md. - A 17-year-old speeder was found to have suspected marijuana and rolling papers in his vehicle when he was stopped by Frederick City Police at 10:16 p.m. Tuesday on Military Road.

The teen, who was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, was released to his mother, police said.

After police stopped the driver for going 47 mph in a 25 mph zone, officers noticed the teen seemed very nervous, police reports said.

A K-9 scan of the vehicle turned up the presence of narcotics, police said. Items were found under the driver's seat and in the glove box.

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