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Driver imprisoned for manslaughter charged with violating probation

Matthew David Meyer was taken into custody and brought back to Washington County, where he posted $10,000 bail

December 21, 2010|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A paraplegic driver imprisoned seven years ago for negligent manslaughter in the deaths of a Hagerstown couple must appear in Washington County Circuit Court in February for allegedly violating terms of his probation by driving again.

Matthew David Meyer, 31, of Ellicott City, Md., was taken into custody by Howard County Sheriff James Fitzgerald last week and brought back to Washington County, where he posted $10,000 bail, Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael said.

Meyer was sentenced to seven years in prison and received another seven-year suspended sentence after pleading no contest to the two manslaughter charges in the deaths of Gerald and Mary Dietrich of Hagerstown, according to court records.

Gerald, 59, and Mary, 61, died on Oct. 23, 2002, when the pickup truck they were driving was hit by a BMW driven by Meyer on Mt. Aetna Road.

Meyer had been paralyzed in a 2000 crash in Pennsylvania but was still driving, according to published reports.

A condition of Meyer's probation was that he "not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle in the State of Maryland," according to court records.

The order to issue the warrant signed Dec. 9 by Judge W. Kennedy stated that Meyer was still on three years' probation following his release from prison in 2008 and was issued a Maryland driver's license in April 2010 after completing a driver-improvement program.

On June 29 he was cited for driving "at a speed in excess of reasonable and prudent," and on July 4 he was cited for another motor vehicle violation, according to the order.

A hearing on the alleged violation of probation is scheduled for Feb. 16, 2011, court documents said. If found in violation, Meyer faces up to seven years in prison, Michael said.

In a Dec. 6 letter to Boone, Michael wrote that the Maryland state trooper who cited Meyer for speeding clocked his vehicle doing 84 mph in a 40 mph zone.

"The state views Matthew Meyer as an assassin on wheels, and we do not want him to become a serial killer," Michael said Tuesday. "The state is concerned he's a danger to others" and has contacted the state Medical Advisory Board as to whether Meyer is capable of safely operating a vehicle, he said.

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