Court briefs

October 29, 2004

Bench warrant issued for woman

A Washington County Circuit judge issued a bench warrant Thursday for the arrest of a 62-year-old woman who failed to appear for trial to hear allegations she didn't pay for two restaurant bills and then tried to run her car into the store's manager when confronted with the tab.

Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III issued the bench warrant Thursday for Patty Jane Moore, 62, of 411 Lockhouse Road in Falling Waters, W.Va., according to a court clerk. Moore is charged with two counts of theft less than $500, theft scheme less than $500, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the Feb. 10 incident, according to court documents.

Charging documents give the following account of the events leading up to the charges: On Feb. 9, Moore ate at Shoney's Restaurant, 17301 Valley Mall Road, and walked out on a $9.21 bill. She ate there again Feb. 10 and walked out on a $7.85 bill. Once the manager noticed that the woman had returned a second time and did not pay for her meal again, he followed her out to her car. He asked her to pay her bill as she was opening her car door, but when Moore did not respond, the manager said he would call police.


"Go ahead," Moore responded as she got into her car, according to charging documents. As the manager began writing down Moore's vehicle registration, "the woman put the car into reverse and tried to hit him with her car before speeding away," according to charging documents.

The vehicle registration matched one belonging to Moore and the manager picked her out of a photograph lineup, according to charging documents.

- Pepper Ballard

Trial for teacher has been postponed

The trial for an E. Russell Hicks Middle School teacher charged with intentionally exposing two dogs to poison has been postponed, a Washington County District Court clerk said Thursday.

A scheduled court date Wednesday for Courtney Beard, 59, of 20401 Chuck Lane east of Hagerstown, has been delayed, and a new date has not been set, the clerk said.

Beard is charged with one count of animal cruelty-mutilate animal, two counts of malicious destruction of property less than $500 and one count of animal cruelty-leave poison/ground glass. The charges relate to allegations that a neighbor's dogs were exposed to poison between June 27 and June 28 and that one of the dogs died as a result of antifreeze poisoning.

- Brian Shappell

Two in custody after alleged kidnapping

Two men remained in custody Thursday in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a woman earlier this week.

During Wednesday hearings, Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II set bond for Thomas W. Pace, 43, of 135 Tillman Place in Frederick, Md., and Lee E. Stine III, 38, of 16960 Taylors Landing Road, north of Sharpsburg, at $400,000 each, court records state.

Pace and Stine each are charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, second-degree assault and theft, according to records.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Deputies alleged the men abducted the woman early Tuesday in Frederick and took her to Stine's residence. Deputies allege the victim was grabbed by the neck, threatened and had $365 and other items stolen from her purse during the incident.

Stine was taken into custody while driving a motorcycle, while Pace was taken into custody by members of the Washington County Special Response Team, who negotiated a surrender at his residence.

Both men were being held at the Washington County Detention Center Thursday, a detention center spokeswoman said.

- Brian Shappell

Man held on drug, theft charges

Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II set bond for a Hagerstown man charged with drug and theft offenses at $400,000 during a hearing Wednesday, court records state.

Anthony A. Williams, 25, 131 Blooms Ave., is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, theft more than $500, robbery, possession of and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, armed robbery, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime, records state.

The Hagerstown Police Department alleges Williams forced a man to sign over ownership of a Toyota Celica on Monday to cover a personal debt, brandished a gun and gave the victim crack cocaine.

Williams was being held at the Washington County Detention Center Thursday, a detention center spokeswoman said.

- Brian Shappell

Man enters pleas, sentenced to prison

A Hagerstown man was sentenced to serve two years in state prison after he entered Alford pleas in Washington County Circuit Court on Thursday to second-degree assault and attempt to disarm a police officer in connection with a June 9 incident in which he allegedly fought police and tried to disarm an officer who was trying to arrest him.

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

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