2 Glen Burnie men convicted of causing motorist's death Pair were drag racing and struck pickup truck

November 04, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County judge convicted two Glen Burnie men yesterday of causing a motorist's death while they were drag racing on Route 100 a year ago.

The verdict of manslaughter by automobile and related charges brought tears to the family of the victim, Pasadena resident Charles W. Miller, 31.

Miller was thrown more than 100 feet from his pickup truck after a speeding car driven by William L. Isenberg, 36, sideswiped it.

"They got what they deserved. You don't go drinking and driving like that," said Miller's brother-in-law, John Gamrod, with whom Miller lived and who was a passenger in Miller's truck on the night of the crash, Oct. 25, 1996.

Isenberg's convictions included automobile homicide while under the influence and driving under the influence.

He and Perry M. Waldvogel, 25, showed no emotion as Circuit Judge Martin A. Wolff pronounced them guilty in the nonjury trial. Wolff heard four days of conflicting testimony about how much alcohol the two men drank, whether they were racing and if the victim's actions led to his death.

Thomas A. Pavlinic and Kevin P. Murphy, the defendants' lawyers, said they plan to ask Wolff to reconsider his findings before sentencing, set for Jan. 14, 1998.

The maximum sentence for the most serious conviction, manslaughter by automobile, is 10 years in prison. It was a misdemeanor at the time of the crash, but state legislators made it a felony as of Oct. 1.

Suellen Waldvogel, who is Perry Waldvogel's mother and Isenberg's girlfriend, testified that the three of them had taken her daughter, Lorie, and Lorie's friend, Michelle Bednarski of Columbia, to the Double T Diner on Mountain Road in Glen Burnie to celebrate Lorie's 19th birthday.

A waitress testified that the party was so loud she asked a manager if she should cut off the alcohol.

As a result of the incident, the Anne Arundel liquor board has charged the Double T with serving minors. The board is expected to set a hearing date after Isenberg and Waldvogel are sentenced.

According to testimony, the group left the diner about 8: 30 p.m. in two cars. Bednarski, the state's key witness, said Isenberg and Waldvogel revved the engines before they took off on Route 100.

Isenberg's driver's license was suspended at the time, according to court testimony.

Witnesses said the defendants' cars separated to go around Miller's truck. Waldvogel testified that he swerved through traffic and onto the right shoulder, speeding around vehicles before returning to the roadway.

Isenberg veered left onto the grassy median, and, as he returned the car to the road at what police said was 67 mph, he hit Miller's truck.

Pub Date: 11/04/97

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