For 2nd time, suspicious substance found in ex-judge's law office

May 26, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

For the second time in five months, a letter containing a suspicious powdery substance was delivered Tuesday morning to former Washington County Circuit Judge John P. Corderman at his Hagerstown law office. 

"He called police and left a message on voice mail," said Sgt. Paul J. Kifer. 

When the message was received, uniformed officers were immediately sent to the law office at 5 Public Square. 

Also sent were personnel from the hazardous materials response team, Kifer said. That unit would package the letter so it can be sent away and tested. 

"It looks like it came from a prison again," Kifer said. 

In December, 2008, an envelope containing white powder was delivered to Corderman, a former judge who was injured in a bombing nearly 20 years ago.

That powder tested negative for anthrax and was found to be harmless. The December letter also originated in a state prison, police said. 


Police learned the first letter came from an inmate at North Branch Correctional Institution near Cumberland, Md. That inmate was incarcerated in connection with a 1994 murder in Hagerstown, police said.

"Someone was charged in that incident," Kifer said Tuesday. No further information on that was available Tuesday. 

Corderman was injured Dec. 22, 1989, when a package was delivered to his Hagerstown apartment. He was injured in the hand, abdomen and eardrums when the package exploded, and was hospitalized until Christmas Day.

No one was ever charged in that bombing incident.

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