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Wallace found guilty

November 30, 2000

Wallace found guilty



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


After nearly five hours of deliberations Thursday, a Washington County Circuit jury found Thomas Clifford Wallace guilty of the first-degree murder of a Greencastle man in August 1997.

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"Since the state has asked for life without parole in this case, I think a pre-sentence investigation is appropriate," said Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, who ordered Wallace held without bond until sentencing.

Wallace, 33, was returned to the Maryland Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown where he is serving an 11-year sentence on an unrelated 1998 drug distribution conviction.

The jury, which heard four days of testimony, also found Wallace guilty of second-degree assault, first-degree assault and car theft.

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday after the director of a private DNA testing laboratory testified that blood found on Wallace's shorts matched the blood of Darrius Allen Fetterhoff.

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Earlier prosecution witnesses linked up Wallace and Fetterhoff in the drug and prostitution scenes in Hagerstown. Key testimony revealed Fetterhoff first had contact with Wallace on Aug. 20, 1997, through Clara Miller, a prostitute Fetterhoff knew from previous encounters.

The three were seen around Hagerstown in Fetterhoff's car, witnesses testified during the trial.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorneys Gina Cirincion and Arthur Rozes also called to the stand a tow truck driver who gave Wallace and Miller a ride into Hagerstown from near the crime scene on the day Fetterhoff disappeared.

In addition to vigorously cross-examining the prosecution witnesses, defense attorneys Mary Riley and Brian Hutchinson put on two witnesses - a hair analysis expert who found no match with Wallace and hair found in the murdered man's car, and a fingerprint expert who said crime scene prints and Wallace's prints were also no match.

Wallace didn't take the stand.

First-day testimony revealed Fetterhoff was beaten, robbed and left for dead along Conococheague Creek on Aug. 20, 1997, according to court records.

When he was found at the bottom of an embankment several days later, Fetterhoff was alive. He later died from complications of his injuries.

Miller, who had been Wallace's co-defendant in the murder case, was found dead in March 1998.

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