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County man's probation extended

May 08, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

A Washington County Circuit judge Monday extended the probation period of a man who admitted to violating his probation by drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

Howard Russell Stepler, 21, the son of Frederick County Circuit Judge Mary Ann Stepler, had pleaded guilty to charges of distribution of marijuana and possession of cocaine on Oct. 7, 1998.

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III had sentenced Stepler to three years on each of the two charges, to be served concurrently, but suspended the sentence, according to court records.

He ordered Stepler to be placed on two years supervised probation with the condition he abstain from alcohol and drugs and submit to random drug testing.

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Stepler violated the terms of his probation by drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana around Thanksgiving, his attorney, Philip Armstrong, said.

Stepler admitted to the violation in court.

Armstrong argued his client should be allowed to stay on probation because he is attending Al-Anon and getting good grades at Shepherd College.

Boone agreed but extended the probation period from two years to three years.

Without the extension, probation would have run out around November, which Boone said he felt might be too soon.

Next time he won't be so lenient, Boone said.

"If you come back again, then that's it," Boone said.

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