Man given 90 days for threatening to kill teen Girl was potential witness in his relative's drug case

September 24, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Prince George's County man accused of threatening to kill a Westminster teen-ager, a potential witness in a drug case involving his relative, was sentenced yesterday to 90 days in jail after he was found guilty of obstructing justice.

James F. Boone Jr., 39, of the 3300 block of Chillum Road in Mount Rainier pleaded not guilty in Carroll County District Court but agreed to accept the prosecutor's version of what happened.

According to the plea agreement, charges of intimidating a witness and repeated telephone misuse were dropped, Assistant State's Attorney Brian L. DeLeonardo said.

DeLeonardo asked Judge JoAnn M. Ellinghaus-Jones to impose a jail term because "society cannot tolerate people, who are cooperating with police and trying to do the right, having their lives threatened."

The prosecutor said state police were called May 11 to Sunshine Way in Westminster by Shelley Sarsfield, who said a man had called and threatened the life of her daughter, Jennifer.

While Tfc. Douglas W. Reitz was present, a second life-threatening call came to the Sarsfields. Jennifer answered and handed the telephone to Reitz.

The caller did not believe Reitz was a state trooper and called the barracks in Westminster a few minutes later to ask if a Trooper Reitz worked there.

The call was traced to Boone's apartment, and the Sarsfields identified Boone's voice from a tape recording of his call to the barracks.

Jennifer Sarsfield was expected to be called as a witness in the trial of Boone's relative, who was charged and later convicted as a juvenile for a role in selling a fatal dose of heroin in January to Liam O'Hara, a 15-year-old Westminster High School sophomore.

Shelly Sarsfield told the court yesterday how frightened she and Jennifer were after Boone made the threats.

Ellinghaus-Jones called Boone's actions an affront to the court system, saying she would follow the prosecutor's recommendation rather than grant probation or allow Boone to serve time on weekends.

Ellinghaus-Jones granted Boone work release.

"He had no previous record, so we did not oppose work release," said DeLeonardo. "We did oppose serving the sentence on weekends as [being] too lenient."

DeLeonardo said the distance from Westminster to Mount Ranier likely would prevent Boone from taking advantage of work release.

Pub Date: 9/24/98

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