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Rouzerville man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Hagerstown man's death

June 11, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- A Rouzerville, Pa., man pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a Hagerstown man last year.

Darrow Lee Shupp, 30, could face as much as 10 years in prison when he is sentenced July 8.

Washington County Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said the prosecution plans to ask that Shupp serve five years in prison and that the other five years be suspended.

Shupp's attorney, public defender Carl Creeden, said the defense might argue that Shupp should serve less time in prison.

Shupp punched 22-year-old Blake Michael Crampton in the face in November 2007 and knocked him out during a confrontation outside Crampton's home on Liberty Street in Hagerstown, according to a statement of facts read aloud Tuesday by Michael in Washington County Circuit Court.

Crampton regained consciousness, but he later was found dead in his home.

According to the statement read by Michael, Crampton was part of a group of people who went to some local places on the night of Nov. 17, 2007, as part of a bachelor party.

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Some went to Crampton's home, where Shupp joined them.

At one point, Crampton became upset with Shupp and told him to leave, which he did.

Soon afterward, Crampton and Shupp confronted each other outside. Shupp punched Crampton once in the face, according to the statement of facts.

Crampton was knocked out and his head hit the pavement.

A friend took Crampton in the house, where he regained consciousness and said he was OK.

But, on Nov. 19, Crampton was found dead in his home, according to the statement of facts.

People who knew Crampton sat in the front of the courtroom during the proceedings. Some cried as Michael retold details surrounding Crampton's death.

Seated at the defense table, Shupp wiped his eyes when Michael said Crampton died from a head injury.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III accepted Shupp's guilty plea to one count of involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor.

Two other charges -- second-degree assault and reckless endangerment -- were dismissed.

Sentencing was scheduled for July 8 to give Assistant State's Attorney Viki Pauler, who is prosecuting the case, a chance to be there. Michael filled in Tuesday for Pauler, who was ill.

Wright ordered Shupp to be held in jail without bail until he is sentenced.

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