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Hagerstown man sentenced after pleading guilty to burglary charges

Steven Craig Munson was sentenced to 18 years in prison with eight years suspended

August 04, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to burglary charges in Washington County Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer sentenced Steven Craig Munson, 23, formerly of 66 E. North Ave., Apt. 1, to 18 years in prison, but suspended eight years.

Munson was charged with 17 counts in connection with crimes that included burglaries of a home and a storehouse in the county within the last 10 months, according to court records.

Thirteen of those charges were dropped in exchange for Munson's guilty plea on June 13 to one count each of first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary and possession of oxycodone.

The Washington County State's Attorneys Office requested that Dwyer sentence Munson to 10 years, but defense attorney Bernard W. Semler II asked for a shorter prison term.

Semler said Munson needed counseling because he had mental-health issues and was addicted to drugs. He said Munson used to crush, then snort up to 16 oxycodone pills per day.  

"Do I think 10 years for a young man with this type of addiction is fair? No I don't," Semler said.

Munson, who also was ordered to pay $7,719 in restitution, told the court that his debt to society wouldn't be erased until he paid back his victims.

"I just want to become a citizen and be part of the world," Munson said.

 Munson was charged with two counts of burglary, during which jewelry was taken from a home at 300 N. Colonial Drive east of Hagerstown on Oct. 21, and two counts of burglary for stealing antiques from a storehouse at 23340 Fruit Tree Drive near Smithsburg on Feb. 6, according to court documents..

The victim of the Oct. 21 burglary told the Washington County Sheriff's Office that someone broke her kitchen window, and there were drops of blood in and around the shards of glass. In that burglary, four gold necklaces valued at about $775 were taken from a shelving unit.

Munson, who was a friend of the victim, asked her the evening before the burglary if he could come over to "check out some of her old jewelry," the documents said.

Munson was arrested on unrelated charges on March 4 and taken to the Washington County Detention Center.

He subsequently admitted to breaking in to the house and was charged with first-degree burglary and other counts, the documents said.

In the case of the burglary on Feb. 6, Patrick Jon Kemmerer, 20, of 870 Frederick St. in Hagerstown, told deputies that he drove Munson to the storehouse on Fruit Tree Drive so Munson could steal antiques, the records said.

Kemmerer's statement was used to charge Munson with second-degree burglary and other counts in connection with that crime.

Kemmerer pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of stealing copper pipe and scrap metal from private properties and businesses. He is to be sentenced in October following a presentence investigation, according to previous reports.   

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