Police Log 7/10

July 11, 2002

Man enters plea in drug-related death

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - One of two men accused in the heroin overdose death of a Morgan County teenager has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Michael S. Fleece, 27, faces up to 15 years in prison when sentenced in September.

Fleece and Denver A. Youngblood Jr. were indicted last September in Morgan County Circuit Court in the death of Jessica Ann Miller, 18. Prosecutors said the pair provided heroin to Miller.

Fleece, who pleaded guilty Tuesday, entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors. He originally was charged with first-degree murder, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and distribution of drugs.

Fleece has agreed to testify against Youngblood, Morgan County Prosecutor Debra McLaughlin said. Youngblood's trial is scheduled to begin next month.


Woman escapes from trunk of her own car

CLEAR SPRING - A woman who was beaten and thrown in the trunk of her car managed to escape from her kidnappers by springing the trunk release when the car slowed down on Interstate 70 at Md. 68 Tuesday evening, Maryland State Police in Hagers-town said.

Police said the victim, whose name was not released, had been visiting friends in Martinsburg, W.Va., when two males assaulted her.

The men choked and kicked her in the head before placing her in the trunk of her 2000 Honda Accord and then drove north on Interstate 81.

The driver stopped in the crossover at I-70 near the Clear Spring exit and the victim was able to escape, police said.

The woman ran across the westbound lanes and down an embankment. The assailants fled east on I-70 in the Accord, police said.

Motorists helped the victim and called police at around 6:40 p.m.

The woman was taken to Washington County Hospital by ambulance, police said.

Maryland and West Virginia State Police were continuing to investigate.

Deputies investigating moped taken from home

The Washington County Sheriff's Department investigated the following incidents this week:

  • A moped valued at $700 was stolen from a home in the 6500 block of Dam 4 Road Monday, police said.

  • A depth finder and two stainless steel propellers were reported stolen from Bower's Marine on Virginia Avenue Tuesday, police said.

The items were valued at $2,150, police said.

Police looking for man charged with assault

Hagerstown City Police have a warrant for Earl William Stillman Jr. for failure to appear in court on a charge of second-degree assault.

Stillman, 25, is 5 feet 9 inches tall and 170 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. His last known address was 212 Summit Ave., Apt. D.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Hagerstown Police Department at 301-790-3700 or Crime Solvers of Washington County at 301-733-4141.

Accused pizza shop robber held on bond

A Hagerstown man accused in the armed robbery of Little Caesars Pizza Tuesday evening was being held on $50,000 bond Wednesday night at the Washington County Detention Center.

Todd Anthony Chaco, 24, of 16718 Fairview Road, was charged with armed robbery, robbery, theft, use of a handgun in a crime of violence, wearing/carrying a handgun and second-degree assault.

According to court records, Chaco went into the restaurant at 420 E. Antietam St. at 7:02 p.m. and flashed a gun at employees.

He demanded and was given money from the cashier. He fled the business from the north door and was chased by an employee to a vehicle parked in the rear lot of the Venice Inn, police said.

The robber entered a dark blue Buick with Maryland registration DNT 331. That car was later traced to Chaco's mother.

As the investigation continued, Detectives Carroll Braun and George Brandt learned that Chaco was a suspect in a burglary at his aunt's residence in Pennsylvania, where a .32-caliber handgun was stolen, court records said.

A short time later, Chaco was taken into custody at the Fairview Road home, court records said. He told police where to find the car and when they did a consent search on the car, a .32-caliber handgun was found under the front seat, court records said.

Man treated at hospital for stab wound to hand

A fight in an apartment at 31 1/2 E. Franklin St. Tuesday night sent one person to Washington County Hospital with minor stab wounds to the hand, Hagerstown City Police said.

John Francis Day Jr. was found on a lower floor of the building with wounds to his hand. He was treated at Washington County Hospital and released, a spokeswoman said.

Brian Ashley Israel, 23, was charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. He was released from custody Wednesday after posting a $5,000 bond, jail officials said.

Police converged on the building shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday when a fight on a back porch was reported.

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