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Murder charges dropped because of lack of evidence

March 14, 2001

Murder charges dropped because of lack of evidence



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Murder charges against three of four men charged last summer in the beating death of Tony Lee Carbaugh have been dismissed because of insufficient evidence.

Harlan Coleburn Hoover, 21, of no fixed address, and Aaron H. Chertoff, 19, of Hagerstown, were released from the Washington County Detention Center Monday shortly after the charges against them were dropped.

James Wellington Tosten, 22, of Hagerstown, remained in custody Tuesday evening on drug charges and a detainer from Franklin County, Pa., jail officials said.

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Murder charges against him were also dropped Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Douglas Lee Hevener, 20, of Boonsboro, was still being held for trial on March 26 on first- and second-degree murder charges, according to Washington County State's Attorney Kenneth Long.

"After examining the evidence in this case, we felt there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the murder prosecution on Hoover, Chertoff and Tosten," Long said Tuesday.

Carbaugh, 18, was found dead in Williamsport Aug. 12, allegedly beaten to death in a dispute over drugs, according to documents filed in Washington County District Court.

Washington County Sheriff's Department deputies had charged all four men in the death of the young man who recently had moved from Spencer, W.Va., and was staying with his uncle at 314 Buena Vista St. in Hagerstown.

Carbaugh's body was found over an embankment near the iron bridge on Kemp's Mill Road in Williamsport. An autopsy determined he died of head injuries.

Tosten and Hoover were questioned by police and denied any involvement in the death, charging documents said.

When deputies questioned Hevener, he told them that Hoover sold drugs to Carbaugh about two weeks earlier and that Carbaugh confronted Hoover two days later claiming he had been short-changed, the documents contended.

Last summer, Hevener told police that he drove Tosten, Hoover and Chertoff to the West End housing development in Hagerstown to find Carbaugh and beat him up, court documents alleged.

Hevener told police he stopped the car when they saw Carbaugh walking on Concord Street. Chertoff, Tosten and Hoover got out, grabbed Carbaugh and began beating him, then put Carbaugh in the back seat and continued to beat him as Hevener drove away, court documents alleged.

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