Man given six-year term in barn arson

March 11, 1997

A Hampstead man who pleaded guilty in October to conspiring with three others to burn a barn in Westminster was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison.

Danne P. Dittrich Jr., 21, was sentenced to 15 years on a charge of arson, but Carroll County Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. suspended nine years. The sentence will be consecutive to a one-year term Dittrich received Oct. 21 for possession of marijuana.

Dittrich also was sentenced to a concurrent 15-year term with all but six years suspended on the conspiracy charge and a three-year concurrent term on a charge of mutilating animals, which died before or during the fire in April.

Dittrich and Donald E. Freeman III, 24, of Westminster, Jason W. Lewis, 20, of Sykesville and a teen-ager burned the barn in the 2000 block of Old Washington Road because the owners had complained to police about drug activity, prosecutors said.

The teen-ager was charged as a juvenile. All four were ordered jointly to pay restitution of $27,491 to Merle and Shirley Barrows or their insurance company.

Lewis received a six-year sentence similar to that given Dittrich. Freeman is to be sentenced April 15.

Beck placed Dittrich on five years of supervised probation to be served on his release from prison.


Reese: Firefighters responded at 3: 17 p.m. Saturday to a field fire in the 3100 block of Patapsco Road. Units were out 45 minutes.

Pleasant Valley: Firefighters responded at 12: 37 p.m. Friday to a brush fire in the 3800 block of Turkey Foot Road. Units were out 36 minutes.


Westminster: Several city and county residents told police that their vehicles were scratched Friday at Cranberry Mall. Damage was estimated at $2,350.

Westminster: Operators of the Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market on Route 140 told police Thursday that a front window was damaged. Damage was estimated at $500.

Pub Date: 3/11/97

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