Man released after serving year in wife's killing Judge's sentencing caused controversy

October 31, 1995|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

The Parkton trucker who shot his unfaithful wife has been released from the Baltimore County jail, a year after his sentencing by Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill Sr. caused a national uproar.

Kenneth Lee Peacock, 37, was freed Saturday morning after earning credits on work release that reduced his 18-month sentence for manslaughter, said James M. Dean, administrator of the Baltimore County Bureau of Corrections.

Mr. Peacock caused no problems and worked steadily, Mr. Dean said. "Obviously, he did well enough to get out of here."

Mr. Peacock was sentenced Oct. 17, 1994, on a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter.

Under the plea bargain, he admitted shooting Sandra Peacock, 31, after arriving home unexpectedly during a winter storm Feb. 9 to find her in bed with another man.

He fatally shot his wife after drinking heavily for about four hours at their home in the 20700 block of Old York Road.

Judge Cahill said he felt "forced to impose a sentence," but spoke of an uncontrollable rage and wondered how many married men would have the strength to walk away "without inflicting some corporal punishment."

The Peacock sentencing propelled an overhaul of the panel that oversees the state's judges -- the Commission on Judicial Disabilities -- and Judge Cahill became the first judge charged under new rules intended to make the process more open.

The hearing on Judge Cahill's conduct was to have been held yesterday, but was rescheduled by the commission for Feb. 19-22 -- over objections by the judge and his attorneys, who attributed the case to hysteria and inaccuracy by the media.

The commission voted in July to pursue possible violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct against Judge Cahill.

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