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Smithsburg man convicted in theft of grave vases gets additional time

July 23, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Bryan Lynn Fishack
Bryan Lynn Fishack

A Smithsburg man whose frequent arrests and releases prompted a public objection from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office last year was back in county Circuit Court on Tuesday, this time getting two more years for violating probation added to the nine years he is already serving for theft convictions.

Judge Dana Moylan Wright found Bryan Lynn Fishack, 27, in violation of probation in a 2006 conspiracy to commit robbery conviction.

Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion asked that Fishack be sentenced to the remaining backup time on that conviction — about three years — but Wright ordered him to serve two years consecutive to his current state prison sentences.

One sentence of four years is for the theft of 293 bronze decorative grave vases from the Rest Haven Cemetery in Hagerstown on the night of Oct. 15-16, 2012. The vases were valued at almost $44,000.

Fishack was convicted of theft between $10,000 and $100,000 in a Washington County District Court bench trial in March, a conviction he has appealed to Washington County Circuit Court, Assistant State’s Attorney Brett Wilson said on Tuesday.

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That case is scheduled for trial in September, Wilson said.

In June, a circuit court jury found Fishack guilty of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, and he was sentenced to five more years, according to court records.

That was for the theft of metal from Grimm’s Salvage Yard near Smithsburg on Nov. 29, 2012, while he was out on bond, Wilson said.

Fishack has also appealed that conviction, according to court records.

In November 2012, the county sheriff’s office said their law-enforcement efforts were undermined by Maryland District Court Commissioners who decided on two occasions to summarily release Fishack after he was arrested and charged with multiple counts of theft.

The sheriff’s office issued a statement at the time saying it was stunned by the   decision to release Fishack.

Fishack had been charged five times with metal thefts since the beginning of September 2012, the sheriff’s office said at the time. Commissioners chose to release Fishack on his own recognizance after he was arrested by deputies on Sept. 25 and Nov. 19.

Cirincion referred in court to Fishack’s “infamous urn stealing” case on Tuesday, as well as the sheriff’s office’s concern “because the commissioners’ office kept letting him go, and he kept racking up more and more offenses.”

“Three years is an awful long time for someone already doing nine years,” Fishack said before Wright gave him the two-year sentence. “I’m not a bad person. I just made a mistake.”

Fishack said he was addicted to heroin at the time of the 2012 crime spree.

In addition to the convictions he is appealing, Fishack has pending cases for another metal theft and for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Wilson said.

The violation of probation hearing on Tuesday proceeded despite some confusion over whether Fishack’s original three years of probation in the 2006 conviction had run its course when he was cited for a violation in 2010. That violation resulted in a short jail sentence followed by an additional two years on probation, Cirincion told Wright.

Violating probation on that second sentence was the reason for Tuesday’s hearing, Cirincion told the judge.

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