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Hagerstown man agrees to misdemeanor plea in father's death

December 27, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man charged with second-degree murder in connection with the April death of his father pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to a misdemeanor charge of neglecting a vulnerable adult in Washington County Circuit Court.

Gerald Wolford Record, 47, also faced a murder charge and a manslaughter charge, both of which were dropped as part of the plea agreement, according to court records.

Record, who blamed his older brother for failing to care for their father, was being held Wednesday without bail at the Washington County Detention Center pending sentencing.

Robert Charles Record Sr., 85, was found in his Longfellow Court home in March, tied to a chair with a dog leash. He died April 5 from complications of dehydration, bedsores and an existing heart condition. The Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore ruled his death a homicide.

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An older son, Kenneth Allen Record, 62, also was charged in September with second-degree murder, manslaughter and other crimes in connection with Robert Record's death.

A May 2008 jury trial has been set for Kenneth Record.

Gerald Record relied on his older brother to care for their father, according to records filed in court by Assistant Public Defender Jerome J. Joyce.

Gerald Record, whose IQ put him in a "borderline range of functioning" according to a psychological evaluation referenced by the defense's memo, had no intention of harming his father.

He "found himself part of an incompetent and dysfunctional household ill-prepared to deal with a terribly sick and declining old man," according to the defense's documents.

While Gerald Record worked full time as a janitor, his brother was unemployed and home around the clock, according to court documents.

Gerald Record faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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