Man sentenced to six years in jail for barn fire

April 16, 1997

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

Donald E. Freeman III, 25, was given a 15-year term on an arson charge, but Carroll County Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. suspended nine years.

Beck also imposed a concurrent 10-year term with four years suspended on the conspiracy charge and a three-year concurrent term on a charge of mutilating animals that died before or during the fire on April 27, 1996.

Freeman, Danne P. Dittrich Jr., 21, of Hampstead, 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 informed police about Lewis' drug activities, prosecutors said.

Freeman has paid one-fourth of the court-ordered restitution of $27,491 to the owners of the barn, Merle and Shirley Barrows, or their insurance company.

Lewis and Dittrich have received similar sentences after pleading guilty. The teen-ager was charged as a juvenile.

Hanover, Pa., man hurt in Westminster accident

A Hanover, Pa., man flown by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after his car was struck from )) behind Monday in Westminster was in serious but stable condition yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Varser Burnett, 63, was traveling west on Route 140 about 9: 15 p.m. and stopped at Malcolm Drive for a red traffic signal, police said.

nTC Police said Andrew Spang, 26, of the 700 block of Johahn Drive in Westminster, was cited for negligent driving after telling them that he was driving behind Burnett, leaned down to pick up something and could not stop in time when he realized traffic ahead had stopped.

Burnett's wife, Jewelene, was taken to Carroll County General Hospital, where she was treated and released.

Awards reception planned at Wakefield Valley

The Greater Westminster Development Corp. plans a free reception and awards program tomorrow at the Wakefield Valley Golf and Conference Center.

This will be the third annual reception, and the second year for the Greater Westminster Awards, which recognize local businesses in six categories.

The nonprofit GWDC was created by city and business leaders to promote and stabilize the local economy. Business donations are tax deductible.

The free event will be from 5: 30 to 7: 30 p.m. in the ballroom of the club at 1000 Fenby Farm Road.


Westminster: A Bradley Drive resident told police Sunday that her vehicle was scratched while it was parked at Cranberry Mall. Damage was estimated at $1,000.

Westminster: An employee at Cards, Candy & More at Crossroads Shopping Center told police Sunday that someone removed a display case containing novelty clocks worth $650.

Pub Date: 4/16/97

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