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City man guilty in road rage case

November 22, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

After finding Harold Elmer Rice Jr. of Hagerstown guilty of second-degree assault in a 1998 "road rage" case, a Washington County Circuit jury learned Monday that he was convicted earlier this month of a similar incident in Frederick County, Md.

Rice was returned to the Frederick County Detention Center Monday where he will await the results of a pre-sentence investigation ordered by Judge Frederick Wright.

Last March, another jury was unable to reach a verdict in the Washington County incident of Oct. 11, 1998.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Lisa Hardy vowed then she would retry the case. This time the jury reached a guilty verdict in two hours.

Rice, 35, of 110 Manor Drive, Apt. 202, was charged after an incident involving a Hagerstown woman traveling with her 4-month-old son in the back seat.

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The jury heard testimony from Andrea Conny, who said Rice followed her, veered in front of her several times and once ran her vehicle into the median of Interstate 70 between Frederick and Hagerstown.

The incident ended on the ramp to the Dual Highway east of Hagerstown where two witnesses testified they saw Rice beating Conny as she lay on the roadway near her vehicle.

"I asked him what his problem was," Conny told the jury, who said she pulled her car over that day.

She said she stayed in her car and lowered her window a few inches, but that Rice grabbed her hair, forcing her to open the door to get free.

It was then that two men from Virginia pulled off the same ramp. Both men returned Monday to testify again that they stopped to help Conny by yelling at Rice and calling Maryland State Police on a cellular phone.

Rice was the only defense witness, testifying at both trials that Conny was the aggressor.

The Frederick County incident occurred on Dec. 3, 1998.

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