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Man sentenced in connection with Keedysville vandalism spree

May 15, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

A 19-year-old Hagerstown man was sentenced to probation before judgment Tuesday by a Washington County District judge in connection with a vandalism spree in southern Washington County last year.

Aaron Loghry Bell, of 18531 Henson Blvd., Apartment 10R, pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious destruction of property less than $500 during a hearing before Judge Ralph France. Four remaining counts of the same charge were dismissed in exchange for his plea.

Bell's attorney, John Salvatore, advised Bell that the maximum penalty he faced was 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine for each count.

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Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Viki Pauler alleged that in December 2001, Bell drove a group of friends around Keedysville in his family's Jeep. Passengers in the vehicle used a BB gun to shoot out the windows of vehicles parked along North and South Main streets, she said.

Pauler added that an investigating deputy in the case said Bell was cooperative with police.

"He feels he (Bell) fell in with the wrong crowd," Pauler said.

Salvatore said his client may be legally an adult but "socially, he's a juvenile."

Bell has been punished by his family, which has taken away his use of the car, he said.

A student at the Washington County Technical High School, Bell also works at Grease Monkey and Valley Mall Theaters, Salvatore said.

Salvatore said Bell should receive probation before judgment because Bell helped identify two victims who police were not aware of.

"I'm extremely sorry for what I did. I know it only takes once to make a mistake. Something like this will never happen again," Bell said.

In handing down his sentence, France took into consideration Bell's clean record. In addition to probation before judgment, Bell was ordered to pay restitution and perform community service. He must also stay away from the victims' residences.

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