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Man pleads guilty in 2002 robbery

April 22, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown man who allegedly told two women he was a police officer before taking their car last October pleaded guilty Monday to a robbery charge, for which he will serve seven years in prison.

Daniel Nicholas Smith, 26, of 416 Guilford Ave., said during his hearing in Washington County Circuit Court that he wanted "to sincerely apologize for what has happened to the victims."

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone sentenced Smith to 15 years in prison, with eight years suspended. Boone sentenced Smith to an additional three years of unsupervised probation.

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Smith and his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Eric Reed, said Smith's problems stem from alcohol and drug dependency. Reed said Smith consumed up to 20 beers the day he took the car.

Hagerstown City Police alleged in court documents that on Oct. 19, 2002, a 51-year-old woman and her 73-year-old mother were coming from the Superior Ice Cream Shop at 500 Chestnut St.

Smith allegedly asked one of the women for her license and registration, saying he was a police officer, the documents said.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Theresa Adams said Monday that contrary to the charging documents, Smith did not drag the driver with the car, but pulled her out of her car when she fell before he drove off.

As part of the plea agreement, the other charges against Smith that resulted from the robbery were dropped, including unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and second-degree assault.

Smith could face an additional four years in prison for a probation violation that resulted from the guilty plea. The probation was for a felony theft charge to which he pleaded guilty, lawyers said in court Monday.

Smith also is awaiting sentencing on an unauthorized auto use charge in Washington County District Court.

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