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Last defendant sentenced in car fire

April 10, 2001

Last defendant sentenced in car fire



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

The last of four defendants in the deliberate torching of a car last summer appeared in Washington County Circuit Court Tuesday.

Charles Edward Sarver, 29, of 15 Berner Ave., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor malicious destruction of property.

Judge Kennedy Boone granted him probation before judgment and placed him on probation for three years.

Ellis Bradley Simpkins, 22, of 201 1/2 E. Franklin St., pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

Probation was set at three years.

In earlier court appearances, car owner David Alan Kline Jr., 24, of 12914 Pinehill Road, pleaded guilty to malicious burning and was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

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Kathy Marie Pogue, 20, of 125 E. Franklin St., pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property and was granted probation before judgment. Probation was to be for 18 months.

The four arrests came shortly after an Aug. 24 fire in which a car was deliberately torched in the Pangborn Corp. parking lot, according to Hagerstown Fire Marshal John Hersh.

Each was initially charged with felony malicious destruction of property, first-degree malicious burning and setting fire to defraud an insurance company, Hersh said.

The 1991 Buick Century belonged to Kline, who had told Hersh he was there with friends earlier and returned to find his car on fire.

But a witness told police and fire investigators that people were seen running away from the burning vehicle and getting into another car.

When Kline and the others returned to the scene later, the witness said they were in that same car.

The fire call went out at 1:58 a.m. and firefighters from Junior and Pioneer Hook and Ladder companies responded.

When the car was checked, it was determined the vehicle had been vandalized and then set on fire. The loss was set at $4,000.

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