A Hagerstown man who waited until his neighbor’s dog died before breaking into her home last year was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to seven years in state prison for that break-in and another burglary.
Clyde Eugene Gatrell Jr., 39, of 1257 Magnolia Court, pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and theft of $1,000 to $10,000. Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer sentenced Gatrell to 20 years on each count, suspending all but seven years.
After her house was broken into on Oct. 4, 2011, Robin Baker told Hagerstown police that she suspected a neighbor she knew only as “Clyde,” the application for statement of charges said. Baker told police that Clyde, later identified as Gatrell, was afraid of her dog, the document said.
The dog died a few days before the burglary and she was at home until Oct. 4 when she went to work, the charging document said. Entry had been made through a second-floor window using Baker’s extension ladder, the document said.