Haines won't be jailed for theft of two cars

Son of state senator will continue treatment and home detention

August 12, 1999|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

A Carroll Circuit Court judge allowed yesterday Matthew Keith Haines, 35, to remain on home detention through Jan. 10, and ordered him to pay nearly $2,000 in restitution to two women whose cars he stole last year.

Haines, son of state Sen. Larry E. Haines, pleaded guilty in May to the thefts. On two occasions last fall, Matthew Haines took car keys from the purses of two women in restaurants.

"We will see where it goes from here," said Matthew Haines as he left the courthouse yesterday. "I am looking forward to a second chance."

Before sentencing, he addressed the court, saying, "I apologize to the victims, my family and friends."

Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. imposed the maximum five-year sentence for both offenses, but suspended incarceration in favor of home detention.

"What you did was really stupid and would not have happened unless alcohol was involved," Burns said. "You had to know you would be caught."

Haines, who has been confined to his home since December, will be allowed to go to work and to treatment sessions for alcoholism and depression. He spent about a month in jail after his arrest in November.

Timothy P. Schlauch, executive director of Alert, a private home-detention program, said at the hearing that Haines is monitored 24 hours a day and reports to him weekly. Haines has progressed, said Schlauch.

"He is more open and productive as a person," said Schlauch. "He knows he has to stay sober."

Tom Manus, program director of New Life Counseling Services, said Haines completed an intensive treatment program in June. "Matt is facing his problem, and realizes he was going nowhere by using alcohol and drugs," said Manus.

Howard County Deputy State's Attorney I. Matthew Campbell Jr. said Haines was motivated by the prospect of serious consequences for his crimes. He argued for some period of incarceration.

Burns said home detention has proven beneficial to Haines and added, "I am willing to give you the opportunity to continue with it."

When the home detention ends in January, Haines will be placed on probation for five years, the first two of which will be supervised. The judge ordered him to participate in Alcoholics Anonymous for 90 days and to continue psychiatric treatment.

"You look real good today, as opposed to Dec. 17," Burns said. "I don't want to see you in here again."

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