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Charges dismissed against councilmen in alleged assault

May 11, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Charges of battery and destruction of property were dropped against a Shepherdstown Town Council member in the town's municipal court Wednesday night.

The charges against Mark Wilson Smith, of 105 S. King St., stemmed from an incident March 25 in which Smith allegedly went to the War Memorial Building on West German Street and used a walking cane to hit the member of a band that was playing there, according to Shepherdstown Police Department records and Police Chief Curtis Keller.

Smith was charged with battery after police said Smith hit Curtis Paul Seiss with a walking cane on Seiss' back, shoulder and leg, according to police records.

The destruction of property charge against Smith related to the "destroying, injuring or defacing" of property belonging to Seiss, according to police records.

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Specifically, the destruction occurred to Seiss' drum set and microphone, according to police records.

The damage was estimated to be more than $250, according to police records.

In an agreement presented in court Wednesday, Seiss agreed to have the destruction of property charge and the battery charge dropped, but have Smith pay Seiss $1,500.

Municipal Judge David Alter explained to Seiss that Wednesday's proceedings only involved criminal charges, and that Seiss has the right to take any civil action.

"I have no interest in pursuing it after tonight," Seiss said. "I assume his check will clear."

Smith was not in court Wednesday. He declined to comment on the case earlier after being charged. Keller previously said that he only could speculate on a possible motive for the incident. The War Memorial Building sometimes is used as a place for live music.

Smith, who has been on the Shepherdstown Town Council since 2002, also is chairman of the town's Finance Committee.

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