Man sentenced in eight city break-ins Plea agreement extends current term by 2 years

June 02, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A Westminster man already serving 10 years in state prison for violating his probation by holding up a Finksburg convenience store in 1988 was convicted yesterday for his role in eight Westminster break-ins between May and December last year.

Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. sentenced Anthony Thomas Hughes, 27, to two more years in prison as part of an elaborate plea bargain with prosecutors.

Hughes, formerly of the 100 block of Charles St., pleaded guilty to three counts of breaking and entering and one count of felony theft. In exchange, prosecutors dropped five cases -- totaling 35 charges -- against him. Prosecutors also agreed to recommend no more than two additional years in jail for him.

Judge Burns imposed sentences of 10 years for one breaking and entering charge, 12 years for the felony theft charge and 6 months for the remaining two charges. All of the sentences are to run concurrently with the 10-year armed robbery charge. But the felony theft sentence, in effect, extends Hughes' prison time by two years.

Assistant State's Attorney Christy McFaul, who read a statement in support of Hughes' guilty plea, said the defendant participated in break-ins at seven Westminster businesses and one apartment. Most of the places that were hit are along East Main Street.

The break-ins occurred at the 140 Amoco Station in Carroll Plaza on May 3; an apartment in the 200 block of E. Main St. on Oct. 6; Shear Designs, 257 E. Main St., on Oct. 18; Carroll East Salon, 221 E. Main St., on Oct. 21; Ernie's Bar, 90 W. Main St., on Oct. 26; Direct-to-You gas station, 2 E. George St., on Nov. 16; the Westminster Rescue Mission, 57 E. Main St., on Dec. 31; and Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio, 195 E. Main St., on Dec. 31.

Hughes stole cash and damaged merchandise worth more than $2,800 in the break-ins, court records show.

Judge Burns reduced the damages to a civil judgment, meaning the victims can pursue repayment when Hughes is released from jail.

Joseph Phillip Zemo, also of the 100 block of Charles St., was charged with Hughes in four of the break-ins. He is scheduled for trial in Carroll Circuit Court today.

Hughes' attorney, Stephen P. Bourexis, said during the plea hearing that his client is undergoing treatment for abuse he suffered as a child. Hughes did not speak to the judge during the hearing.

In addition to yesterday's convictions and the 1988 armed robbery, Hughes was convicted of escape in October 1988 after he and another inmate at the Carroll County Detention Center fled through a hole they cut in a shower ceiling.

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