Judge Denies Reduction

Police and fire scan

August 11, 1991

WESTMINSTER — A Carroll Circuit judge has denied a request by a 22-year-old Sykesville man convicted of automobile manslaughter to have his prison sentence reduced.

Robert Kenneth Sauter, of the 5900 block of Forest Court, pleaded guilty last November to automobile manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

In March, Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. sentenced Sauter to five years in prison, but suspended two years.

On Wednesday, Sauter and Westminster attorney Robert Parker went before Beck to ask that the three-year prison term be reduced.

The charges againstSauter stemmed from an April 9, 1990 accident on Route 26 that killed 52-year-old Charles Robert Henderson of Walkersville.

Sauter, who was 20 at the time of the crash, had been drinking with friends at Rewster's Restaurant and Lounge on Ridge Road in Taylorsville for several hours before the accident, court records show.

In court last week, Sauter told Beck that he does not believe he will drink alcoholagain and that he is remorseful over the accident and the hurt that it caused Henderson's wife and daughter.

Deputy State's Attorney Edward M. Ulsch argued that Sauter's original sentence was just, fair and strict -- but far less than the possible maximum of 10 years.

Ulsch said that because Sauter has been a model prisoner, it was likely he would be released after his first parole hearing. Sauter said he thought he would have a parole hearing in November.

"Nothing further needs to be done here," Ulsch said. "Henderson does not have theopportunity to modify his death."

In handing down his decision, Beck said he believed the deterrent factor in Sauter's case is important.

Beck said he has used the Sauter case as an example to other defendants in drunken-driving cases.

"At this point, I don't feel the timing is right for a modification," said Beck. "I don't feel enough time has been served at the Department of Corrections."


WESTMINSTER -- A hearing on a mistrial in a malpracticecase against a county pediatrician and Carroll County General Hospital has been set for Aug. 30, court documents show.

Baltimore attorney LaVonna L. Vice filed a motion for a new trial on behalf of the parents of a baby who died at the hospital 19 hours after it was born.

A Carroll County jury ruled June 6 that Dr. Karl Green and the hospital were not negligent in their care of Brett Morris, the infant son of Robert and Barbara Morris of Westminster.

Vice contends there should be a new trial in the case because juror Mary E. Zepp of Westminster appeared friendly to Green and his wife when she took her seat in the jury box.

Vice also claims the jury's verdict in favor of the hospital and the doctor was "against the overwhelming evidence presented at the trial."

Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold will heararguments on both sides of the case at the hearing.


Crime Solvers, a volunteer group that assists area police, is asking residents to help solve the Crime of the Week.

This week, the group is targeting vandalism and theft of a vending machine at theCarroll County Sports Complex.

Police said the theft occurred between 9:30 p.m. June 1 and 6 a.m. June 2.

The machine is located onthe east side of the main concession stand. The lock on the machine was pried open and $250 in cash was taken, police said.

If you have any information about this crime, or believe you may know who is involved, please call Crime Solvers at (800) 562-TIPS.

You do not have to leave your name, and if your information leads to an arrest, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward.


SYKESVILLE -- State police and sheriff's deputies were still searching late Friday for two men who have escaped from county jails.

The fugitive unit of the state police was searching for an inmate of the CentralLaundry Pre-Release Unit who walked away from a work detail July 15.

State police said Edwin Paul Witte, 28, of Greenbelt walked away from a group doing some work at the State Highway Administration office on Pennsylvania Avenue near Route 140 just before 8:30 a.m.

Witte was serving eight years in prison for credit-card fraud, police said.

The Central Laundry is for inmates who have 10 months or less to serve on their sentences.

Witte is decribed as a white male, 5-feet, 8-inches tall, and weighing 170 pounds.

He has brown hair and hazel eyes, police said.

Sheriff's deputies were looking for Eugene Lester Mann, 38, of Finksburg. Carroll Sheriff John Brown said Mann was discovered missing late last Tuesday when he failed to return to the Carroll County Detention Center after his work-release job.

Mann was sent to the detention center April 15 following his conviction on battery, driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license.

Brown said Mann was scheduled to be released Sept. 12.

Mann is about 5-feet-11, weighs 160 pounds and has green eyes and brown hair.

Brown said Mann is not considered dangerous.


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