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Two women enter pleas in Molotov cocktail incident

February 07, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Two Sandy Hook women entered pleas Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to charges stemming from a February 2000 incident in which Molotov cocktails were thrown at a home with 10 people inside.

Sheena L. Compher, 38, and Donna K. Eagle, 44, both of 18824 Sandy Hook Road, await sentencing on one charge each of first-degree malicious burning reckless endangerment.

They were being held Thursday at the Washington County Detention Center.

Lawyers initially had planned on a two-day trial, but the women entered Alford pleas before a trial began.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but agrees the state has enough evidence to gain a conviction.

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Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Michelle Flores said Eagle and Compher pleaded to actions that were part of a long string of incidents between two families.

In the early-morning hours on Feb. 8, 2002, Karen Edelen and her niece, Terri Cole, were awake in their home at 18834 Sandy Hook Road, while others, including a grandmother, three young children and an infant were asleep, Flores said.

Compher, Eagle and a third person who has not been charged, drove up to Edelen's house, Flores said. Each took a beer bottle filled with gasoline and plugged with a rag and hurled it at the house, Flores said.

Two bottles hit the house and exploded: One hit a window, but did not break through, and the second hit near a window, Flores said. The third bounced off the home and did not ignite.

"Had they actually have gone in the window, it could have burned the whole residence down," Flores said Tuesday afternoon from her office. "It could have killed the residents."

Flores said she does not know what sentence the State's Attorney's Office will ask for until a pre-sentence investigation has been completed.

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