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Man sentenced in City Park assault of homeless man

April 24, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN

A Hagerstown man who pleaded guilty to first-degree assault for beating a homeless man who was sleeping at City Park on Aug. 11, 2006, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon in Washington County Circuit Court to 10 years in prison.

Brandon Jerome Harris, 21, received the same sentence as his codefendant, Travis Michael Harvey, who was sentenced last month. Harris has been in jail since Aug. 11, 2006.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Viki Pauler requested a 20-year sentence for Harris, citing his prior record. He had a previous charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, she said.

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Harris and Harvey assaulted two men in City Park on that August night, and one of the victims moved out of state because he no longer felt safe in Hagerstown, Pauler said.

Harris fought with James Gleason, said Harris' attorney, Gordon Lynn.

Gleason's injuries were not as serious as those to Frank Layman, Lynn said. Layman was the man whom Harvey assaulted, Lynn said.

Harris and Harvey were drunk at the time of the attacks, Lynn said.

Harris admitted to an alcohol problem and said he was "intoxicated out of my mind" the night of the attack.

"A friend made a stupid suggestion and I followed along," he said.

Boone sentenced Harris to 20 years in prison, with all but 10 suspended and three years of unsupervised probation after his release.

Boone said he didn't know why the two would "mug bums in the park."

"Bums are entitled to victim's rights as well as anyone else," he said.

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