Glen Burnie men sentenced in motorist's death They were drag racing, left scene of accident

January 15, 1998|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel circuit judge sent two Glen Burnie men to prison yesterday for causing a motorist's death by drag racing on Route 100 and later trying to hide their involvement.

Judge Martin A. Wolff sentenced William L. Isenberg, 36, to six years in prison for manslaughter and related convictions for leaving the scene of the crash that killed Pasadena resident Charles W. Miller, 31, on Oct. 25, 1996.

Wolff, who convicted the two after a nonjury trial in November, sentenced Perry M. Waldvogel, 25, to three years for manslaughter and related convictions, with half of it suspended, plus two years of supervised probation.

Isenberg and Waldvogel were drag racing on Route 100 when Isenberg's car sideswiped Miller's pickup truck. Miller was thrown more than 100 feet.

John LeCornu, assistant state's attorney, argued for longer sentences because Isenberg and Waldvogel failed to step forward, which he said stymied the police investigation and caused the victim's family undue suffering.

Relatives of Miller who spoke during the sentencing hearing glowered at the defendants, saying they had left a man to die and showed no remorse.

"These people have no conscience; they have no respect for human life," Deborah Ann Miller-Lieberman, a sister of the victim, said outside the courtroom. "They blatantly broke the law and then hid it."

Isenberg and Waldvogel apologized for their actions. Their families declined to comment afterward. The men filed appeals yesterday.

Thomas A. Pavlinic, one of two defense attorneys, said Wolff erred in finding that Waldvogel and Isenberg were drag racing. They actually were trying to prevent a crash, he said.

Suellen Waldvogel, Perry Waldvogel's mother and Isenberg's girlfriend, testified in November 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 Waldvogel's 19th birthday.

A waitress testified that the party was so loud she asked a manager whether she should stop serving alcohol.

As a result of the incident, the county liquor board has charged the Double T with serving alcohol to minors and is expected to set a hearing date now that Isenberg and Waldvogel have been 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 of their cars before they drove off on Route 100.

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

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: 1/15/98

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