Sentence reduced for one man imprisoned for 2004 slaying

January 05, 2011|By DON AINES |
  • Justin Kyle Marshall is escorted into the Washington County Courthouse in January 2006. Marshall was sentenced to 25 years in prison in the November 2004 beating death of Curtis Eugene Hill Sr. In December 2010, his sentence was reduced to 21 years.
File photo

HAGERSTOWN — Washington County Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley recently reduced the sentence of one of two men sent to prison for the 2004 beating death of a Hagerstown man.

Justin Kyle Marshall, 23, and Larry Wayne Shriner, 27, both pleaded guilty in 2005 to second-degree murder in the Nov. 3, 2004, death of 46-year-old Curtis Eugene Hill Sr., court records show. Each was sentenced to 25 years in prison, according to records.

Both men petitioned the court to have their sentences modified. On Dec. 29, Beachley denied Shriner’s motion but granted Marshall’s, reducing his sentence to 21 years.

“A modest modification of sentence is appropriate in this case based upon the youth of the offender at the time of the commission of the crime, the offender’s positive institutional progress, the acceptance of full responsibility for the crime and the fact that the original sentence exceeded the Maryland Sentencing Guidelines,” Beachley wrote in his order.

Marshall was 17 at the time of the murder and Shriner was 20, court records show.

“The state continues to extend its sympathy to the family of the murder victim and opposed the modification in both cases, believing the sentences were more than just,” Deputy State’s Attorney Joseph Michael said Tuesday when asked about the modification of Marshall’s sentence.

Hearings on Shriner’s and Marshall’s petitions were held in circuit court in December, Michael said.

At the time of Marshall’s sentencing in January 2006, Circuit Judge John H. McDowell noted the sentencing guidelines for Marshall were 10 to 21 years in prison, court records show. In imposing the 25-year sentence, McDowell said he considered “the brutality of the beating and the relative lack of empathy and concern for another human being.”

Hill was found dead near an alley beside Russo’s RX Pharmacy on North Cannon Avenue, court records show. Shriner, formerly of Maugansville, and Marshall, formerly of Hagerstown, had confronted Hill in the alley at about 12:30 a.m., punched and kicked him in the face and chest, and dragged his body under a tree, court records show.

Shriner checked twice over the course of the night to see if Hill was still alive, according to records. Marshall accompanied him on one of those occasions, records show.

A woman found Hill’s body at about 7 a.m., records show.

Other charges in the cases of Shriner and Marshall, including first-degree murder, were dismissed as a result of their plea agreements, according to records.

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