Beating victim is sentenced to 18 months for shooting

November 25, 1998|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Charles A. Frock told a Carroll County judge yesterday that he was frightened March 15 when a man came to his home and beat him for a $15 debt but should have let police handle the matter instead of chasing the suspect into downtown Westminster with his deer rifle.

The jury that heard Frock's case in August agreed, convicting him of first-degree assault on Eric G. Webb, 31, of Manchester and reckless endangerment.

Sentencing guidelines call for 18 to 25 years in the state prison system for Frock, according to Assistant State's Attorney Tom Rafter of Howard County. He handled the case because a potential witness works in the Carroll County prosecutor's office.

Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold imposed a 14-year term and suspended all but 18 months, which Frock will be allowed to serve under work-release at the Carroll County Detention Center.

"I think the jury reached the correct verdict," said Arnold, who said he "wrestled" with a proper sentence. "What started out to be the victim became the aggressor."

Noting Frock's small stature, Arnold said people less than 5 feet 9 inches tall know about bullies and that the victim was "a self-confessed bully."

Frock, 32, exercises and trains race horses for several horse farms in Carroll and Baltimore counties, Pennsylvania and at Pimlico Race Course. He rises about 4 a.m. and works six or seven days a week to support his wife and four children, according to testimony.

Defense attorney Richard M. Karceski called several of the farm owners to testify at the sentencing hearing and presented letters from other employers, who praised Frock as hard-working and reliable.

Rafter argued that Frock had plenty of time to think about what he did. "I could just as easily be here because of the murder of Mr. Webb," Rafter said.

Frock and a neighbor drove from their homes outside Westminster, Rafter said, catching up to Webb and another man at Liberty and Green streets. Frock fired the shot about 6 p.m.

Frock's neighbor and friend, Wilson Harry Blizzard Jr., 28, who also was charged in the assault, died Sept. 21 when he was struck by lightning.

Pub Date: 11/25/98

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