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Sex offender in warning fliers returned to prison on alleged probation violation

July 07, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • John Lamont Garville
John Lamont Garville

HAGERSTOWN — A registered sex offender who lived in Hagerstown since he was released in March from Roxbury Correctional Institution was returned to prison Wednesday for allegedly violating the conditions of his probation, a Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman said Thursday.

John Lamont Garville, 48, formerly of 50 Summit Ave., Apt. 613, in Hagerstown, was taken into custody Wednesday night. It was alleged he purchased a pornographic magazine and committed other probation violations, according to Mark Vernarelli, a Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman.

“The Parole and Probation agent determined that Mr. Garville had been drinking alcohol, had purchased a pornographic magazine, and was carrying a multi-purpose tool which included a knife blade, all of which violate terms of his supervision and sex offender counseling requirements,” Vernarelli wrote Thursday in an email. “He will have a hearing with the (Maryland) Parole Commission within 30 days, and is presently awaiting that in a DOC facility. The Parole Commission will determine his penalty, if any.”

When asked if Garville would be released if the parole commission determines that he didn’t violate the conditions of his probation, Vernarelli said, “I think we have to wait for the Parole Commission to examine all of the facts at the hearing.”

According to news stories published in The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Garville was found guilty in 1988 of raping a 15-year-old girl at knifepoint two years earlier and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

He was released in March of this year, Vernarelli said previously. Garville was released to the mandatory supervision of the state Division of Parole and Probation.

On June 22, the Hagerstown Police Department and the Hagerstown Parks and Recreation Division passed out fliers at City Park and Mills Park to warn the public that Garville had been seen in those areas.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said at the time that the fliers were distributed because Garville was frequenting some of Hagerstown’s parks, which were similar to the areas in Anne Arundel County where Garville committed his previous crime.

Smith said Parole and Probation tracked Garville’s movements by monitoring a GPS anklet that he was ordered to wear upon his release from prison.

The Maryland Parole Commission banned Garville from visiting wooded areas shortly after the Division of Parole and Probation began monitoring his activities.

On Thursday, Smith lauded the Division of Parole and Probation for keeping a vigilant watch on Garville.

“My opinion is we dodged a bullet on this one,” Smith said.

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