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Sentence reduced in beating death

March 12, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Despite protests from the victim's family, a Washington County Circuit judge Monday reduced the sentence of a man serving time in connection with the beating death of Tony Lee Carbaugh.

Douglas Lee Hevener, of 1 Fishing Creek Lane, Boonsboro, was sentenced in June 2001 to serve 25 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping Carbaugh and driving him to Williamsport, where he was found dead Aug. 12, 2000.

Police believed Carbaugh, 18, was beaten to death in a dispute over drugs, court documents said. His 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, according to court documents.

Judge Frederick C. Wright reduced Hevener's sentence to 20 years. Wright said Hevener's actions went beyond conspiracy to kidnap but he didn't think Hevener expected Carbaugh to die.

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Defense Attorney Bruce Poole said Hevener's sentence should be reduced because he has been a well-behaved inmate, working a sanitation detail in prison. He attends church regularly and just completed an entrance exam to take Hagerstown Community College courses, Poole said.

He said the state's attorney's office previously had agreed to recommend a 20-year sentence for Hevener, 21, but the day of his sentencing was hectic and it was forgotten.

Poole said there was no evidence that Hevener beat Carbaugh.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum acknowledged the 20-year sentence arrangement but said Hevener's sentence shouldn't be reduced further because his pre-sentence report showed he's a threat to society.

The report "indicates that he has an anti-social personality and is a habitual liar," she said.

Lochbaum said Hevener continues to deny involvement in the crime despite evidence compiled by the state and hasn't helped the prosecution build a case against three other men.

Murder charges in the death had been filed against: Harlan Coleburn Hoover, 21, of no fixed address; Aaron H. Chertoff, 19, of Hagerstown, and James Wellington Tosten, 22, of Hagerstown. Those charges were dismissed because of insufficient evidence, according to the state's attorney's office.

Speaking for the Hevener family, Karen Hawthorne begged the judge not to reduce Carbaugh's sentence.

"You don't deserve it. You took his life, you were a part of it," she said to Hevener, who looked at her but showed no reaction.

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