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21-year-old Hagerstown man pleads guilty in home invasion case

October 10, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A 21-year-old Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to conspiracy to commit robbery in a July 1 break-in at an apartment at 20320 Youngstoun Court that left another man dead, the Washington County State's Attorney's office said.

Michael John Watkins, formerly of 42 East Ave., faced 18 charges, including first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary and two counts each of attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

Watkins was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended, the state's attorney's office said.

Police have said that during the 3:30 a.m. invasion, intruder James Michael Conely, 32, was shot and stabbed to death by one of the apartment's female residents. After Conely forced his way into the apartment in search of drugs, he threatened the residents' lives with a shotgun, was fired upon and stabbed in the back before the young women escaped, according to police.

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No charges have been filed against the women, Michelle Reeder, 24, and Carri Humphrey, 22, whom Washington County State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr. said acted in self-defense.

Both women submitted victim impact statements to the court before Tuesday's hearing.

Another hearing could be held to deal with restitution issues.

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