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Man acquitted of stalking

December 15, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

A judge acquitted a 63-year-old Hagerstown man Wednesday of stalking and carrying a handgun in his car.

After a half-day trial in Washington County District Court, Judge Ralph France found Ned Apple Garrett of 11924 Dormayne Drive innocent of the charges.

France said the case boiled down to the credibility of the witnesses.

Garrett was accused by his former son-in-law, Brian Keith Necessary of Hagerstown. The two men became unfriendly after the breakup of Necessary and Garrett's daughter Alyson Necessary.

Brian Necessary and his girlfriend Jennifer Hartwell testified that Garrett stalked them at the Cellular One business they own in College Plaza and followed them in his car.

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They said Garrett followed their car from Home Federal Savings Bank onto Dual Highway and displayed a handgun on Sept. 3. Hartwell and Brian Necessary had different recollections about who first saw the handgun.

Garrett denied the stalking. He testified that he went to Home Federal that day but never saw Necessary. He had a note from the bank that showed a deposit was made at 3:34 p.m., right before Necessary called police.

He went right back to his pawn shop, also in College Plaza, and then to nearby Hooligan's for lunch, he said.

A bartender there testified she served him, remembering him because he ordered cranberry juice, and brought him his order right before she brought out pretzels for "happy hour" at 4 p.m.

Garrett testified that childhood Polio rendered his left arm useless. The disease's after-effects have injured his right arm so in the last five years he has been unable to aise it above his shoulder.

Garrett's wife and daughter backed up his story.

Two days before the alleged gun incident, witnesses testified they saw Garrett and Brian Necessary arguing in the shopping center parking lot.

Rocky's Pizza employee Mariano Guemez testified he once saw Garrett with a gun, but not while the two were fighting.

Necessary said Garrett called his store and threatened to kill him.

A cook at Hooligan's said he heard Garrett yelling on the phone, threatening to kill someone.

But Garrett said he was talking to his wife about the threat and never threatened to kill anyone.

"Mr. Garrett is not an aggressor. He is not a predator," defense lawyer John Salvatore argued.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Charles Strong said Garrett admitted he confronted Necessary in the parking lot.

"He should and must be held accountable for it," he said.

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