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Chef guilty of assault, DUI

November 01, 2000

Chef guilty of assault, DUI



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


The chef/owner of a downtown Hagerstown restaurant was sentenced Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court to serve 30 weekends in jail for an alcohol-related driving offense.

David Jones of New Twilights by Chef David also was sentenced to concurrent jail time for assaulting two female employees at his former establishment, The Steak-Out Restaurant at 12 E. Washington St. New Twilights is in the first block of South Potomac Street.

"If you violate your probation, you'll be doing your cooking at the Division of Correction," said Judge Kennedy Boone.

In lieu of a fine, Jones, 44, of Smithsburg, was ordered by Boone to provide one meal a week to the REACH Cold Weather Shelter for the entire season from Nov. 12-March 31.

"I don't care what business you are in or how successful you are ... this is it," Boone said. "You miss one meal at the shelter and it's a violation."

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For the driving under the influence conviction, the judge gave the maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. He agreed to allow Jones to serve the sentence on 30 weekends.

For each of the second-degree assault convictions, Boone imposed a three-year prison sentence, suspending all but 60 concurrent days in jail.

Probation was set at 18 months.

Defense attorney Lewis Metzner entered not guilty pleas on his client's behalf to two counts of assault but he and his client agreed to forego trial for a recitation of facts as alleged by the state's witnesses.

"We don't agree with those facts but we won't offer any of our own facts," Metzner said, offering no defense. As a result, Boone found Jones guilty.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Mark Boyer told Boone that the first assault victim encountered Jones on her first day of work, Feb. 25, at The Steak-Out Restaurant.

The woman said Jones made vulgar remarks to her and he patted her on the buttocks, ignoring her requests to stop both practices.

On Feb. 26, the woman said Jones rubbed against her and again ignored her requests to stop. He then pinched her breast with a set of tongs, Boyer said.

Lewd comments and another incident of rubbing her buttocks Feb. 28 caused the woman to quit her job, Boyer said.

The second complainant went to work at The Steak-Out March 7 and was immediately taken aside by Jones and told to sign a paper.

Jones grabbed her shoulder and wouldn't let go, saying she had to sign, Boyer said. The woman left work that day and didn't come back.

The victims were in court Wednesday, expecting that the charges would be heard in a jury trial.

Jones had requested a jury trial earlier this year in Washington County District Court but changed his mind before court Wednesday.

Boone assured the two women that he wouldn't entertain a motion later to reduce the assault convictions to probation before judgment.

Both women filed the criminal charges against Jones through the Washington County District Court Commissioner last spring.

Originally Jones was also charged with four counts of fourth-degree sex offense, one count of harassment and one count of intimidating a witness. Those charges were dropped Wednesday in exchange for the pleas.

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