HAGERSTOWN - A Washington County Circuit Court judge ruled Friday that a man convicted of killing a Hagerstown police officer more than 30 years ago is entitled to a new trial.
Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Joseph S. Michael said his office and the Maryland Attorney General's Office will appeal the ruling in the Special Court of Appeals to retry Merle W. Unger Jr.
Unger, 57, is serving a sentence of life plus 40 years for murdering Officer Donald Kline during a gun battle on Dec. 13, 1975.
Kline was off duty and tried to arrest Unger after he robbed a Hagerstown business.
Unger will remain in prison while the appeal is processed.
"We are confident that Mr. Unger will serve the rest of his life in jail for killing Donald Kline. ... We believe Mr. Unger got a fair trial," Michael said during a Tuesday press conference where he was flanked by a handful of Hagerstown police officers.