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$2M restitution in manslaughter case

January 30, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A man serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter by vehicle in the May 2008 death of 35-year-old Debra Reed Fields-Jordan has been ordered in Washington County Circuit Court to pay $2,084,076.31 to the woman's husband and children.

Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. made the decision Wednesday.

Harry W. Shrader Jr., 46, was being held Friday at Maryland Correctional Training Center, a medium, minimum and prerelease facility south of Hagerstown, according to prison records available on the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Web site. He was sentenced in November 2008.

In documents filed Jan. 13, Fields-Jordan's husband, Stephen J. Jordan alleges that the transfer of 44.25 acres of land from Shrader to his girlfriend, Diana Sue Bartles, was fraudulent, and done with the "actual intent to hinder, delay and defraud creditors, including Plaintiffs."

The civil action asks that Bartles reconvey the property to Shrader, that a trustee be appointed to sell the property and that Jordan be awarded the money.

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The property is in the area of Pleasant Valley Road in Smithsburg.

Jordan filed a multimillion-dollar civil suit against Shrader in August 2008. He asked for $4 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages, alleging that he suffered "mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort protection, marital care, attention, advice, counsel, training guidance, education and love of his wife."

As the representative of his wife's estate, Jordan alleges in the suit that Shrader inflicted "cruel and inhuman treatment and wanton wrongs, with malice, when he drove intoxicated and failed to stop at a stop sign, causing Debra M. Fields-Jordan to crash into the truck he was driving."

Fields-Jordan was riding her motorcycle east on Md. 77 on May 25, 2008, heading from her home in Boonsboro to a hamburger stand in Thurmont, Md., when a pickup truck heading south on Pleasant Valley Road ran a stop sign at the intersection with Md. 77.

Fields-Jordan's motorcycle, which had the right of way, struck the pickup truck on the passenger side, and the truck struck a tree south of the intersection and the driver fled on foot, police have said.

The truck was registered to Shrader, who was taken into custody a few days after the accident.

Had the case gone to trial, a man held at the Washington County Detention Center would have testified that Shrader confessed he remembered hitting something while he was high, Washington County Assistant State's Attorney John Dunlap said during the sentencing hearing.

"He hit something and was so high he didn't remember," Dunlap said. "Well, that something was a human being."

At the time of the crash, Shrader had been using the hallucinogen PCP (phencyclidine) for about 10 years, defense attorney Lewis Metzner said.

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