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All charges dropped in home invasion, shooting

February 22, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

All charges, including attempted second-degree murder, lodged last November against two Hagerstown men, were dropped Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Michael Angelo Norris, 23, of 11217 Tanglewood Court, Apt. 1, and Jason Louis Smith, 24, of the 600 block of Highland Way, also had each been charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, burglary and use of a handgun in a felony crime of violence, according to court records.

Norris, who had been in jail since his arrest, was released Tuesday.

Smith, who had a detainer on him from the Maryland Division of Correction on other offenses, was released to prison authorities, a spokesman at the Washington County Detention Center said Tuesday.

"I dismissed both cases, referring for further investigation," said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Duane Gigeous. "We are in hopes of recharging in this case at a later date."

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The charges stemmed from the Nov. 29 intrusion into a Lawton Lane home and the shooting of a resident there.

Jamol Q. Cooper was wounded in the arm in the 3:53 a.m. incident at 1202 Lawton Lane, according to Investigator Kenny Barnhart. Cooper spent four days in Washington County Hospital.

Court records showed that two men kicked in the door and rushed into the home yelling "Sheriff's Department," according to court records.

Cooper, 28, heard them and went to the top of the stairs, where he was shot, Barnhart said.

Two days later, Cooper, from his hospital bed, gave police the name of one of the men he believed was involved, court records said.

Cooper later gave police the name of a second man, court records said.

A search of Cooper's house after the shooting turned up a broken front door, a bullet hole in the handrail leading to the second floor, in the hall drywall and in the bathroom, court records said.

That search also turned up illegal drugs and a stolen handgun, Barnhart alleged.

Cooper was charged with possession of marijuana, theft and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, court records said.

Lawton Lane is a one-block street off Kuhn Avenue just outside the city limits.

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