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Hagerstown man pleads guilty to charges in death of Boonsboro teen

September 30, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

BALTIMORE -- A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, resulting in the July 2007 death of a Boonsboro teenager, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Robert Carroll Eichelberger, 37, sold methadone, oxycodone and hydrocodone to a Boonsboro High School senior who was found dead by his father July 26, 2007. The teenager died of methadone and alcohol intoxication, according to a stipulation in the plea agreement that was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore.

The boy has been identified in published reports as 17-year-old Harry L. Angle III.

"The methadone which the defendants sold to (the teenager) on July 25, 2007 was a substantial cause of (the teenager's) death," according to conclusions drawn by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that were included in the plea agreement.

Kathleen Ann Harris, 39, of Olney, Md., previously pleaded guilty to the same charge. Both were indicted in September 2007.

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Eichelberger and Harris each face a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Eichelberger is expected to be sentenced Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. No date has been set for Harris' sentencing.

Harris and Eichelberger started selling prescription medication in 2006. Harris had medical problems that allowed her to get prescriptions from doctors, according to the plea agreement.

For several months, Eichelberger and Harris sold drugs to the teenager, identified in court documents as "H.A." Several of the teenager's friends were present for some of the transactions, court records show.

On July 23, the teenager purchased methadone from Harris and Eichelberger near a small shed by a liquor store in Boonsboro, according to the plea agreement.

On July 23 and 24, 2007, he used some of the methadone he bought from Harris and Eichelberger, according to the plea agreement. Methadone can stay in a user's system for up to 60 hours.

Harris and Eichelberger went to the teenager's home July 25, 2007, where they sold him methadone. He sent two of his friends out of the room while he consumed the methadone, and he and the friends consumed alcohol while there, according to the plea agreement.

The teenager died in bed that night or the following morning. His father discovered him at about 8:30 p.m. July 26, 2007, the plea agreement says.

According to a July 28, 2007, obituary, Harry Angle, known as Trey, was a senior at Boonsboro High School. He loved skiing, hunting, fishing and skateboarding. He was a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church near Lappans, where he was an acolyte.

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