Judges uphold man's 10-year manslaughter sentence Donald McCall had hoped for 2-year term reduction

June 21, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Saying that Donald Allen McCall shows a complete disregard for civilization, a three-judge panel last week upheld his 10-year prison sentence for killing a Finksburg man last year.

District Judge Jo Ann Ellinghaus-Jones and Circuit Judges Luke K. Burns Jr. and Francis M. Arnold, who listened to McCall's request for a reduced sentence during a January hearing, said the unemployed 32-year-old "exhibited a complete disregard for not only the judicial system but civilization in general."

McCall was originally charged with first- and second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of 24-year-old Roger Lee Childers. McCall was acquitted of the murder charges, but a Carroll Circuit Court jury convicted him in July 1991 of manslaughter and battery.

He was given a 10-year suspended sentence on the battery conviction and the maximum 10-year sentence for manslaughter Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr.

McCall is no stranger to the legal system, the three-judge panel noted in its opinion, filed nearly five months after the man's sentence-reduction request.

"Since 1978, [McCall] five times had violated conditions of probation leading to unsatisfactory termination of probation because of his failure to subscribe to the rules of society," they wrote.

Even his lawyer admits that McCall is a "major criminal."

"Take one look at his record, and he's a major criminal," said Westminster attorney J. Barry Hughes. "But I think his overall record had a greater impact on the judges than the sum of the parts."

Hughes told the jury during the January hearing that McCall is amenable to treatment and that he should be given the opportunity to make something of his life.

McCall's record includes convictions on theft, drugs, weapons and traffic charges over the years. He was on probation in February 1991 when he stabbed Childers after an argument between the two broke out following a pool game at a bar in Union Bridge.

When he sentenced McCall, the judges wrote, "Judge Beck stated, 'People that can't conform to the rules of society are called anti-social. Anti-social people should not be among society. They should be with other anti-social people, in jail.' The panel agrees with Judge Beck."

McCall's manslaughter conviction is running concurrently with an eight-year sentence. Hughes said that getting the 10 years reduced to eight was what McCall was hoping for.

He cannot appeal the sentence further, and now he must await parole hearings, which won't be scheduled for two to three years.

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