Carroll Digest


September 06, 2002

Hyde is indicted on child abuse, sex offense charges

Former Carroll County schools Superintendent William H. Hyde, who was arrested last month and charged with molesting a young girl, was indicted on similar charges yesterday by a county grand jury.

Hyde, 61, was indicted on one count of felony child abuse, punishable by up to 15 years in prison; third- and fourth-degree sex offenses; and second-degree assault, according to court records. The offenses are alleged to have takenplace in July, according to the records.

Hyde was arrested Aug. 8, when he returned to Maryland for a divorce hearing. He was released on a $50,000 bond. Last month, a District Court judge issued an order that he have no contact with the elementary-school-aged girl or her family. No further court dates have been set in the case.

The charges do not involve his 39-year career in education or his position as Carroll's school superintendent, a post from which he resigned two years ago to take a two-year contract with a school district in northwestern Montana. A girlfriend's address in Idaho was listed as his current address in charging documents.

County has `record year' of economic development

Carroll County saw unprecedented economic development in the fiscal year that ended June 30, with about $70 million in industrial and commercial investments in nearly 1 million square feet of renovated or new building space, the county's economic development director told the county commissioners yesterday.

That translates to about $700,000 in industrial tax revenues for the county, said John T. "Jack" Lyburn, county economic development director.

"It was a record year," he said.

In the past four years, Carroll has created 4,426 jobs. Lyburn did not break down that statistic into types of employment, but he said that the number will only increase. Small businesses are cropping up throughout the county. His office helped process $3.7 million in small-business loans to 19 fledgling companies last year.

"Job creation is the most important thing, more important than the tax base," said Commissioner Donald I. Dell. "Jobs here take people off the roads and have them closer to their homes."

Carroll has also recently received a $50,000 state grant, money Lyburn will use for a study to determine the technical needs of county business. The research will take about six months.

Former son-in-law indicted in killing of Helga Nicholls

The county state's attorney will seek a sentence of life without parole against a Westminster man indicted yesterday in the fatal stabbing last month of his former mother-in-law, Helga Nicholls of Westminster.

Leon A. Costley Jr., 37, was indicted by a Carroll County grand jury on one count of first-degree murder and a misdemeanor deadly weapons charge, involving two butcher knives. He has been held without bail at the Carroll County Detention Center since his arrest Aug. 14 at the Nicholls home in the 1600 block of Old Manchester Road.

Nicholls, who was known for her frequent calls to Baltimore talk radio programs, was watching her two grandchildren when she was killed, authorities said. Her daughter, Kristine Costley, was divorced from the defendant in June and had obtained a protective order against him, according to court records.

State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes said he would seek the maximum penalty in the case, life in prison without parole.

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