Police investigate husband charged with wiretapping wife's telephone

Woman accused him of threatening boyfriend

February 07, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Manchester man, who was arrested Thursday by state police on charges of wiretapping the telephone of his estranged wife, remains under suspicion in an alleged plot to harm her boyfriend, according to court documents.

William B. Herb, 42, waived a bail review in District Court on Friday and is being held in lieu of $20,000 at the Carroll County Detention Center in Westminster, court records show.

Herb, who lives in the 2900 block of Warehime Road, was released in October from a federal prison in Cumberland, where he was serving time for embezzling $275,000 from a Pikesville bank between 1993 and 1996.

In the latest charge, Herb is accused of installing electronic devices that enabled him to make recordings of telephone calls made to and from the Eldersburg home of his wife, Robin Lynn Herb, between Oct. 31 and Jan. 22.

According to court and police documents, Herb received a "Dear John" letter from his wife while he was incarcerated.

After he was released, Herb was living at Volunteers of America, a halfway house in the 4600 block of E. Monument St. in Baltimore.

An informant alerted city homicide detectives that Herb had made threatening remarks about his wife and her boyfriend, according to the documents.

Detectives investigated and visited Robin Herb on Oct. 30. They warned her of the possible threats, according to the documents. They also contacted state police, making troopers in Westminster aware of the investigation.

After Robin Herb accused her husband of threatening her boyfriend on Oct. 31, city detectives had William Herb come to police headquarters, where he was warned not to act on his feelings, according to police and court documents. He also was advised of state laws regarding domestic violence and stalking.

The Carroll County State's Attorney's domestic violence unit got involved in January when Robin Herb sought a protective order to keep her husband away.

After suggesting that she have a panic alarm installed at home, Gary W. Cofflin, an investigator for the domestic violence unit, and James Emerick of Westminster Security Inc., found a tape recorder and connecting devices on Robin Herb's telephone while installing security equipment on Jan. 22.

Tape recordings seized from her home contained the voices of William Herb and a friend, court documents allege. The pair allegedly were discussing how to hook up a device that would automatically record any conversation on that telephone line.

State police investigators continue to seek information on allegations that Herb was stalking his wife and planning to harm her boyfriend, police said.

In the embezzlement case, Herb pleaded guilty in August 1997, admitting that he financed a Carroll County real estate deal by writing $250,000 in illegal cashier's checks to his business partner, then approving a $25,000 loan to the partner. To cover up the embezzlement, Herb, who managed a Pikesville branch of NationsBank, made unauthorized withdrawals between 1993 and 1996 from at least 13 customers' accounts.

The money was put into an Eldersburg partnership, B&H Investments Inc.

B&H used the cash to help finance the purchase of a tract that became Carroll Fields, a community of 60 homes along Second Avenue in Sykesville.

In 1996 Sykesville revoked a $240,000 public works bond that had been issued to B&H, after the partnership missed three deadlines to complete roads and other improvements.

Roads and sidewalks remained incomplete, with 80 percent of the homes sold and several more under construction, when the bond was revoked.

The town used the bond money to have the work completed.

Pub Date: 2/07/99

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