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Freed inmate repaying his debt

October 29, 2000

Freed inmate repaying his debt



A Washington County man who was freed after spending five days in jail because of a judge's mistake has since been making an "earnest attempt" to pay his debt to society.

Arthur Rumage will remain on probation although he still owes more than $950 in restitution and court costs from assault and bad check convictions, according to court records provided by Washington County Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone Friday.

Since he was released, court records indicate Rumage has made four payments totaling $1,120.

"Continue probation ... now that we have his attention," Boone wrote in his order this week to Christine Talbert, Rumage's probation agent.

Rumage, 41, was released from the Washington County Detention Center seven weeks ago after Boone discovered his error.

Boone said he had meant for a bench warrant he issued for Rumage to be dated Oct. 17, the day by which Rumage was supposed to pay about $2,000 in restitution and court costs on charges of assault and writing bad checks.

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But Boone gave no instructions to that effect in his order and the clerk's office issued the warrant later that same day, Aug. 29.

Rumage was picked up by police Sept. 2 while he was waiting for a bus in Hagerstown.

"It was a miscommunication. I have to take responsibility. The buck stops here," Boone said in an interview in his office just after he ordered Rumage released on Sept. 7.

Boone also called both of Rumage's employers after the hearing to tell them what happened. He convinced the supervisors not to fire Rumage.

Marlo Barnhart

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