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Inmate, mother accused of trying to hire hitman

December 11, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

HANCOCK -- The man who was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in October for setting a fire that resulted in the deaths of two Hancock girls has been charged, along with his mother, with attempting to hire a hitman to kill the girls' mother, according to Maryland State Police.

Clarence Franklin Meyers, 39, who is in prison at North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md., and his mother, Grace Marie Fink, 67, of 6 W. Main St., Apt. 21, in Hancock, each were indicted on a charge of conspiring to kill Meyers' former girlfriend, Melissa Lindeman, according to state police and Washington County Circuit Court documents.

The indictment alleges that Fink tried to entice an undercover Maryland State Police officer around Sept. 8 to kill Lindeman.

Meyers and Fink were charged in indictments with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, felony witness intimidation and obstruction of justice, state police said.

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Meyers also is charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder, state police said.

Fink also was charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree assault and solicitation to commit malicious destruction of property over $500, according to police and Fink's indictment.

Fink was arrested at her home at 11 a.m. Thursday and was being held without bond Friday at the Washington County Detention Center, police said.

Meyers was served with the indictment at the prison at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The Maryland State Police Criminal Investigation Division, with the help of the FBI and detention center officials, has been investigating the alleged murder-for-hire plot involving Meyers and Fink since July, police said.

The matter is still under investigation, according to police.

Washington County State's Attorney Charles Strong said he could not comment on a pending criminal case.

Meyers pleaded guilty in August to two counts of felony murder.

He admitted to setting the fire at the home at 220 Old Route 40 on Feb. 16, saying he did so to gain sympathy and money from the community. He had lost his job at Rayloc and his unemployment benefits had run out, public defender Eric Reed said in court.

Nicole Gross, 15, and Mary Gross, 12, died in the fire. The girls were students at Hancock Middle-Senior High School.

Their mother, Meyers' girlfriend at the time, escaped the fire.

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