Westminster man pleads guilty to abusing stepson

June 01, 1994

A Westminster man, whose first trial on charges that he sexually abused his 17-year-old stepson ended in mistrial, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of child abuse.

In accepting the plea, Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. imposed a suspended five-year sentence that will run concurrently with the seven-month term the man is serving for a drug conviction. The man and his wife pleaded guilty to manufacturing marijuana in November.

Judge Burns also ordered the 30-year-old man to serve five years of supervised probation. In the plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of perverted practice, fourth-degree sexual offense and battery.

Court records and testimony at the man's trial last year showed that his stepson was abused for 19 months, until February 1992.

During the trial, the stepson testified that sexual encounters took place at the family's house, in the man's workshop and on a family vacation.

Westminster youth held on assault charge

A 17-year-old Westminster youth, arrested Friday, remained in the county jail last night in lieu of $10,000 bond on charges tied to a knife threat against a local woman in February.

Jerry Lee DeRita of Sycamore Street was arrested by Westminster police Friday on charges of reckless endangerment, concealing and carrying a deadly weapon, assault and battery.

He was charged as an adult after a Carroll Circuit judge waived the case from Juvenile Court in April.

According to Carroll District Court records, Mary Robertson, who was at the youth's home, was pushed in the shoulders during an argument in February.

Her assailant held a knife to her neck and threatened her, court records say. She was not seriously injured.

The DeRita youth spent the weekend in the Carroll County Detention Center after a District Court commissioner set bail at $10,000, and a Carroll District judge left it unchanged yesterday.

The youth is scheduled for trial in August.

POLICE

* Westminster: A Reisterstown resident told city police her purse was taken at the Wal-Mart store Thursday. The loss is estimated at $55.

A official of Carroll County Bank, in the first block of W. Main St., told city police Friday the lens of a video camera at the automated teller machine was broken. Damage was estimated at $60.

A resident of the first block of W. George St. told city police Saturday a bicycle was stolen from his yard. The loss is estimated at $40.

An official of Wakefield Valley Golf Club told city police Sunday that equipment and abuilding were vandalized. Damage and loss is estimated at $355.

A city employee told city police Monday that an American flag was taken from the city playground. Loss is estimated at $25.

An official from the Sheetz store on East Main Street told city police Sunday that three cases of soda were taken from the store. Loss is estimated at about $13.

A resident of Cockeysville told city police Sunday that a rear window of her car was broken while it was parked at the 140 Village Shopping Center. Damage was estimated at $100.

FIRE

* Finksburg: Reese and Gamber responded to a camper fire in the 2800 block of Armacost Ave. at 11:11 a.m. Saturday. Units were out for 52 minutes.

* Sandymount: Reese and Gamber responded to a house fire in the 2400 block of Clydesdale Road at 5:02 p.m. Saturday. Units were out for 28 minutes.

* Westminster: Westminster responded to a trash container fire in the 400 block of Englar Road at 4:39 p.m. yesterday yesterday. Units were out for 15 minutes.

Westminster responded to a brush fire on Wimert Avenue at 7:33 a.m. yesterday. Units were out for 35 minutes.

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