A former Reese businessman, who is serving a 10-year prison term for bilking customers of down payments for undelivered carpet services, was sentenced yesterday to 18 additional years for the 1997 arson of the store.
Before imposing the consecutive term, Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold said he agreed with prosecutor David P. Daggett that Roy D. Marshall is a career criminal who has exhibited a "total disregard for the law."
The judge also signed a $90,000 civil judgment against Marshall in favor of Walter Russell, the property owner who lives next door to the burned-out store and shed.
Howard L. Cardin, a Baltimore attorney representing Marshall, argued his client's many crimes stemmed from one problem: "He was a bad businessman."
Marshall, 34, was convicted in October of second-degree arson, attempting to commit theft, filing a false insurance claim and related conspiracy charges.
In January, Marshall pleaded not guilty to nine counts of theft over $300 and one count of attempted theft.
Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. found Marshall guilty and sentenced him to 30 years. By plea agreement, Beck suspended 20 years of the term after Marshall's family paid about $26,000 in restitution to the victims.
Daggett reminded Arnold yesterday that Marshall had about 19 convictions since 1986 for various crimes, including assault, trespassing, theft, disorderly conduct, battery, bad checks and impersonating a federal officer.
In 1997, after Marshall had begun bilking his customers, the store and a storage shed in the 1800 block of Baltimore Blvd. were destroyed by fire.
Daggett said the insurance company refused to pay Marshall $100,000 for a fire protection policy he had purchased.
Russell, who owned the buildings and rented them to Marshall, said he had no insurance on the burned-out property.
Russell said he spent $20,000 to replace the roofs and had estimates of about $90,000 to complete rebuilding and refurbishing the buildings.
"I guess that's what I'll do," Russell said.
Russell will likely never see the $90,000 that Marshall owes him, Daggett said.