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Man's threat draws jail term

April 14, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

A Hagerstown man accused of threatening a court commissioner faces one year in jail followed by two years on probation and was ordered to pay a $500 fine in Washington County District Court on Thursday.

James Grove Powell, 41, of 17919 Hickory Lane was charged in February with disorderly conduct, second-degree assault and threatening a state official.

According to police charging documents, two Hagers-town City Police officers told Powell to leave TJ's Tavern on East Baltimore Street because he was being disruptive on Feb. 17 about 10:45 p.m.

The officers arrested Powell about 20 minutes later after he began arguing with a man on South Potomac Street. Police said in court papers that Powell kicked at officers inside the police cruiser.

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The next morning, Powell was taken before District Court Commissioner Krista Shifler, who set his bond at $2,000.

Powell called the commissioner names and said, "One of these days, I'll get out of this and I'll have you in my scope," according to court documents.

Powell on Tuesday pleaded guilty to the disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to time served since February. The second-degree assault charge, which carries more serious sentencing guidelines, was dropped.

On Thursday, Powell entered a guilty plea to the threat charge. He was ordered to pay the fine and was sentenced to three years in prison, with two years suspended. Powell was given credit for time served and will serve the sentence at the Washington County Detention Center unless he violates the terms of his probation.

The maximum sentence for threatening a state official is three years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

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