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Man gets probation in assault

August 05, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown man who admitted he aimed a gun at the occupants of a car in September 2003 was given a suspended sentence Wednesday and placed on probation.

Richard Alan Jones, 42, of 14517 Barkdoll Road, pleaded guilty in May to second-degree assault and carrying a handgun in connection with the Sept. 29 incident in Smithsburg.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III sentenced Jones to 18 months at the Washington County Detention Center on the second-degree assault charge and to a concurrent year on the handgun charge. Wright suspended those sentences and placed Jones on three years of unsupervised probation.

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According to charging documents, on Sept. 29, 2003, a man and a woman told police at the AC&T on Md. 64 and Md. 66 in Smithsburg that they were harassed by another driver while they were out on the road.

Court documents say that Jones, who was driving a 2001 Chevrolet van, tailgated the couple while they were traveling north on Md. 66. He flashed "his high beams in their rearview mirror, passed them at the Interstate 70 overpass and attempted to run them off the road," according to charging documents.

After traveling several miles and continuing his behavior, Jones stopped at the traffic circle on Md. 66 and Mount Aetna Road, pointed "a silver-colored handgun" at the couple, who had just passed him on the left, and yelled at them.

The couple called police and as they were talking to a Maryland State Police trooper, Jones passed the parking lot and was apprehended, documents state.

Wright, reading from a victim impact statement, said that after the incident, one of the victims "didn't care about finishing my education" and "was having nightmares," among other problems.

Jones' attorney, George Knight, said the victim impact statement was "somewhat self-serving."

Wright said that he would take the statement into account.

He told Jones, "You scared the hell out of them."

Jones told Wright: "I knew that day when I got pulled over that it was a bad decision I made."

In addition to ordering that he pay $255 in court costs, Wright ordered Jones to give up his guns for at least one year and pay $1,240 in restitution owed to the victim within 60 days.

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