Addict given reform chance

Sentencing deferred for county man who attacked girl in 1999

`Window of opportunity'

Heroin user ordered to complete 3-year rehab program

June 28, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A 23-year-old Carroll County man, who pleaded guilty in April to severely beating and choking a 17-year-old New Windsor girl, was given a last chance in court yesterday to conquer a heroin addiction.

Christopher Scott Frazier, who has no fixed address but has lived in New Windsor and Westminster, temporarily avoided a possible 20-year prison term when Circuit Judge Michael M. Galloway deferred sentencing and ordered him to complete a three-year drug rehabilitation program offered by Cenikor Foundation Inc. in Deer Park, Texas.

Galloway's order stipulates that Frazier remain in the custody of the Carroll County sheriff until he enrolls in the Texas program July 7. The judge required Frazier to sign extradition papers, so he can be returned to Carroll County if he fails to complete the program.

Frazier occasionally wiped away tears as Galloway said he was making no promises in allowing "an extremely narrow window of opportunity to impact the [yet-to-be] imposed sentence ... to restore some semblance of decency to your life."

"It's all up to you," Galloway said sternly. "If you complete the Cenikor program, you'll be back here in three years and I'll decide on your sentence.

"If you don't, you'll be back here much sooner," Galloway said. "I'm opting for rehabilitation [rather than punishment]. You have a job for the next three years. Give it your best effort. This is your last shot."

Galloway called the state's request for a 20-year sentence "clearly appropriate."

"We very easily could have been here today, talking about homicide as opposed to first-degree assault," he said.

Before Galloway announced his intentions yesterday, Frazier heard prosecutor Tracey A. Gilmore ask the court to punish him first and make therapy and counseling a condition of probation.

Frazier wept softly as his mother, Linda Frazier, begged Galloway to give her son a chance to defeat "this awful, awful drug that has taken over his life." He became addicted to heroin after graduating from Francis Scott Key High School in 1995, court documents show.

As the defendant briefly apologized to the court, the victim - who is not being named because she was a minor at the time of the incident - rushed out of the courtroom with her family and could be heard sobbing in the hall.

Frazier had left her for dead in a wooded area off Reese Road in Finksburg on Sept. 17. She had known him as an acquaintance for about five years and had driven him to pick up a paycheck before he directed her to the rural area and attacked her.

She was punched and choked, and struck numerous times in the head with a piece of wood before she lost consciousness. He fled in her car before she came to and made her way about 100 yards to Reese Road, where a passing motorist saw her and called state police.

She was taken by a state MedEvac helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for treatment.

Restitution for medical expenses will be addressed when Frazier returns for sentencing, Galloway said.

Gilmore said she argued against a deferment of Frazier's sentence because of the seriousness of the offense and the length of time she was requesting that he serve in prison as punishment for the crime.

"Judge Galloway's decision was unusual only in that three years is a long time to defer a sentence," she said.

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