FREDERICK SUPPORT TRIAL SET — Wastler pleads guilty
FREDERICK -- A Taneytown man who was charged last May with first-degree murder in the shooting death of an acquaintance pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday.
Charles Gordon Wastler, 42, made the plea before a jury trial on the charge was to begin. He will be sentenced by Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer Jr. on Aug. 26 and could receive a maximum sentence of 30 years.
Wastler was charged by the Frederick County Sheriff's Department with first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to maim, reckless endangerment, carrying a deadly weapon, and assault and battery in the death of Michael Eugene Brooks.
Brooks' body was discovered after a woman reported a shooting at Brooks' Emmitsburg home.
Police said Brooks and Wastler were in the Harney Road home when they began fighting. Brooks pulled a kitchen knife and told Wastler to leave. They went outside, where an unidentified woman who also lives at the home talked Brooks into dropping the knife, police said.
As the argument between the men continued, Wastler pulled a (( .22-caliber rifle from his car and shot Brooks, police said. Brooks died later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Unit in Baltimore.
Wastler is free on bond until his sentencing.
WESTMINSTER -- Motion hearings and the trial for a Baltimore man who owes more than $17,000 in child support to his former wife in Carroll County are expected to begin this week.
In 12 years, Carroll authorities had to bring Calvin Thornton to court eight times to remind him to pay court-ordered child support.
L Each time, he failed to make any payments, authorities said.
Thornton was arrested in March near his Baltimore home on a warrant issued in February by the Carroll State's Attorney's Office.
The 39-year-old man is charged with one count of non-support of a minor child, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail.
Motion hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, and the trial is set for Wednesday.
Thornton is one of three mem arrested this year who owe large amounts of child support.
Michael Glover, who was arrested earlier in March, owes his former wife almost $12,000, authorities said. And George C. Smith III, extradited from Florida in February, entered into a plea agreement in exchange for two years in prison and the close of the criminal case against him. He owed his former wife close to $13,000.