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Hagerstown man charged with attempted murder and arson is acquitted of all counts

October 25, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Karl McNutt
Hagerstown Police Department

A man charged with attempted murder and arson in connection with a fire at his house was acquitted of all counts this week in Washington County Circuit Court.

Karl McNutt, 47, of 817 Virginia Ave., had been charged with attempted second-degree murder, but the jury in Monday’s trial did not get to consider that count, Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden said Thursday. The charge was dismissed by Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. on a motion by the state, he said.

Long also granted defense motions for judgment of acquittal on first-degree assault and second-degree malicious burning charges, court records said.

The jury took about 20 minutes to find McNutt not guilty of first-degree arson, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property, according to Creeden and court records.

McNutt had been charged in connection with a June 7 incident at his home in which Hagerstown Fire Department firefighters found a pile of clothes burning in front of the entrance, according to the application for statement of charges filed by Deputy Fire Marshal Glenn Fishack Jr.

McNutt’s wife, Linda, told investigators he had knocked on the door and when she answered he poured lighter fluid on a pile of clothes and set them on fire, the charging document said. Linda McNutt told police that her husband had left several days before the fire and was staying in a homeless shelter, the document said.

McNutt told police the men’s clothing belonged to her husband, the charging document said.

Karl McNutt was released from custody after his acquittal, Creeden said.

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