Thief of military medals draws 6-year sentence Anne Arundel judge seen unlikely to extend term

January 23, 1996|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,SUN STAFF

A former Carroll County budget analyst who admitted stealing medals from eight Maryland veterans in Carroll and Anne Arundel counties and exchanging them for fakes was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison.

Stephen Van Rensselaer Pyne of Westminster told the veterans or their families that he would refurbish the medals and frame them. Instead, he gave the victims, including a retired Anne Arundel admiral, imitations.

Pyne pleaded guilty to five counts of theft in Carroll County on Nov. 20. He pleaded guilty to three counts of theft in Anne Arundel County on Dec. 11.

"I'm glad he got what he deserved," said William J. McKenzie, who received a Distinguished Service Cross and 10 other decorations for acts such as stopping a rocket-launcher team during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

In four of the Carroll County cases, Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. gave Pyne consecutive 10-year prison terms, suspending all but 18 months. In the fifth case, Judge Burns gave Pyne a concurrent 10-year sentence, which was suspended.

David B. Weisgerber, attorney for Mr. Pyne, said Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. has agreed to give Pyne a concurrent sentence Feb. 2.

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