Man receives sentence of 50 years for crimes against ex-girlfriend Guilty plea was made on attempted murder and kidnapping charges

June 14, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Westminster man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and trying to kill his former girlfriend in separate incidents in 1995 was sentenced to concurrent 50-year prison terms yesterday in Carroll County Circuit Court.

In exchange for his plea, Charles Bernard Thomas Jr., 49, of Center Street avoided a trial where, if convicted, he could have received a life sentence for attempted first-degree murder plus 50 consecutive years for kidnapping and burglary, his lawyer said.

Chief prosecutor Jerry F. Barnes said Thomas, also known as "Slick Duck," will not be eligible for a parole hearing for 25 years.

"In crimes of violence, 50 percent of the sentence must be served before a parole hearing is possible," Barnes said.

By agreement, all other related charges against Thomas were not prosecuted, Barnes said.

In accepting the plea bargain, Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. allowed Thomas to reserve his right to request modification of the sentences, but those motions must be held by the court until June 13, 2011, before they may be heard.

"It's a slim hope for my client," said attorney Judson K. Larrimore, the public defender representing Thomas. In 15 years, the circumstances may be such that the court would consider modification, Larrimore said.

Barnes said the cases -- the burglary and kidnapping Jan. 28, 1995 -- and the attempted murder March 28, 1995 -- were particularly violent and filled with rage toward the victim, who is not being identified to protect her privacy.

In the statement of facts, Barnes told the court that Thomas broke into the woman's home at 10: 30 p.m., threatened her with a butcher knife, beat her and choked her to unconsciousness.

Thomas forced the woman into the back seat of her Chevrolet Monte Carlo and drove to his sister's house in Harrisburg, Pa., where the victim escaped and called police, Barnes said.

Thomas was arrested in Pennsylvania and returned to Westminster, where he was freed on a $3,000 unsecured bond after an assistant state's attorney neglected to inform a District Court judge that Thomas had a history of violent crimes.

In the second incident two months later, Barnes told the court that Thomas waited at 6: 30 a.m. for his former girlfriend to arrive at her custodial job in the Center Street Annex of the Carroll County Community College in Westminster on March 28.

Barnes said that Thomas surprised her, stabbed her with an 8-inch knife, beat her and kicked her down a flight of stairs before fleeing in her car.

The woman was treated at Carroll County General Hospital and later was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where she spent several days, Barnes said. Thomas was indicted and arrested nearly a year later near Harrisburg.

Pub Date: 6/14/96

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