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Man gets five years for assault

February 22, 2001

Man gets five years for assault



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


The man who beat and choked a woman and then attempted to burn her house down last August was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday by Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell.

Cameron Purnell Dennis, 24, of no fixed address, also earned a one-year concurrent sentence for possession of fake drugs.

Dennis also pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. In exchange for that plea, the prosecution dropped malicious destruction of property, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, first-degree arson, malicious burning, reckless endangerment, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, and a number of drug charges.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum told McDowell that attempts had been made since August to contact the victim but she had been uncooperative.

"She is in court today but she doesn't wish to make a statement," Lochbaum said.

On Aug. 31, at 10:13 a.m., Dennis broke into the home of Stacey Miller in the 17300 block of Shepherdstown Pike. Dennis, who authorities said is the father of Miller's child, was accused of striking Miller repeatedly with his fist, court records said.

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Court records said Dennis sprayed several rolls of paper towels with hairspray and set them on fire in an attempt to burn down the home.

He then took the keys to Miller's 2000 Hyundai Accent and drove away.

Miller put out the fire using bottled water, court records said. The phone lines to the home had been cut, so Miller walked to nearby Sharpsburg Elementary School for assistance and to check on her child.

It was revealed Thursday that Dennis is on probation as well as parole and could be facing more prison time for violations of those.

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