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Man accused in May theft pleads guilty in circuit court

January 10, 2002

Man accused in May theft pleads guilty in circuit court



The third man accused in the May 15 theft of two motorcycles pleaded guilty Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to two counts of felony theft.

James Michael Fields, 20, of 401 Roberts Drive, Martinsburg, W.Va., was allowed by Judge John McDowell to remain free pending sentencing on the two counts, court records said.

Hagerstown City Police first responded to the Ravenwood area that day for reports of suspicious people, two of whom were pushing motorcycles.

When officers arrived, they located three men and called Washington County Sheriff's deputies when they determined the motorcycles had been stolen from the Oak Ridge Drive area.

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The arrests and retrieval of the two motorcycles occurred before the owner knew they were missing.

Deputy 1st Class Rob Whittington said the cooperative efforts of the two agencies was a "good job" and ended with the arrests of three men.

The two men who were arrested with Fields each pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to felony theft in Washington County Circuit Court.

Marvin Lee High Jr., 21, and Gary Lee Butts, 22, both formerly of the 100 block of South Potomac Street, received suspended sentences from Judge Donald Beachley.

High's suspended sentence was five years while Butts received a three-year suspended term. Each was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service during a three-year probationary period.

Witnesses saw the two men pushing the two motorcycles on Oak Ridge Drive at around 3:58 a.m. and called police, court records said.

The owner, Paul Crampton, told deputies he kept the cycles in a shed on his property.

- Marlo Barnhart

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