Murderer's sentencing rescheduled for May 26James Howard...

COUNTYWIDE

April 27, 1993

Murderer's sentencing rescheduled for May 26

James Howard VanMetre III, who was to be sentenced yesterday for a first-degree murder conviction, will instead be sentenced May 26, a Carroll Circuit judge ruled yesterday.

In a brief postponement hearing, VanMetre's attorneys requested more time so their client could be evaluated by a psychologist. They said they also wanted to reschedule the sentencing because the psychologist will not be available to testify until May.

Prosecutors did not object to the delay.

VanMetre, 35, of East Berlin, Pa., was convicted on April 16 by a Carroll County jury in the strangulation death of Holly Ann Blake, a 28-year-old mother of two from Bonneauville, Pa.

VanMetre confessed to the killing and to burning Ms. Blake's body on a Harney farm in September 1991.

VanMetre today is expected to appear in the Adams County Court of Common Pleas to argue for a new trial in an unrelated rape case. He was convicted in July 1991 of raping a West Reading Township, Pa., woman several weeks before Ms. Blake was killed.

Bryson sentencing is delayed until June 2

Sentencing for convicted murderer Michael Clay Bryson Sr., originally scheduled to begin next Tuesday, will begin June 2, officials said.

Because defense attorneys have a scheduling conflict, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. set the new hearing date.

Bryson could be given the death penalty for his first-degree murder conviction in the 1992 shotgun death of Melrose hardware store owner Charles W. Therit. The slaying was Carroll's only homicide in 1992.

Judge Duckett, who presided over the three-week jury trial in March, set aside three days for Bryson's sentencing hearing.

The case was moved from Carroll because of pretrial publicity.

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