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Man pleads in case of harassing woman, holding dog hostage

March 08, 2001

Man pleads in case of harassing woman, holding dog hostage



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown man accused of harassing his estranged girlfriend and briefly holding her dog hostage last fall was sentenced Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to serve 60 days in jail.

Douglas P. Trent, 38, of 143 Doub Way, entered Alford pleas to harassment and trespassing, according to court records.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant doesn't admit guilt, but acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to gain a conviction.

Judge Kennedy Boone levied 90-day sentences for each offense. He suspended all but 60 days of the trespassing sentence and all 90 days of the harassment sentence, court records said.

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Burglary and theft charges were dismissed in exchange for the pleas. Trent will be on probation for three years after he is released.

Last fall Trent had repeatedly called the home of the victim, despite the fact that her son would tell Trent she wasn't home, court records said.

According to court records, the burglary and theft occurred on Oct. 21 at an apartment in the 200 block of South Prospect Street.

The victim told police she woke up at 2:30 a.m. when she heard a noise. She found Trent in her bedroom and when she told him to get out, he began yelling something about her car, court records said.

As he was leaving, Trent grabbed the victim's $200 Jack Russell terrier and took it with him despite her protests, court records said.

Then Trent began telephoning the victim again as police began their efforts to find the dog, court records said.

The victim told Trent on the phone that she wanted her dog back but he kept saying he would "make her pay" and that he would "make her life bad," court records said.

Later she did get the dog back unharmed but discovered that her car had been keyed and her tires flattened.

On Oct. 26, the victim filed another complaint when she said Trent climbed over her fence and came into her yard again.

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