Clemency granted to 6 people

February 26, 2005|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. granted clemency to six convicted criminals yesterday, including a man who was found guilty of murder for his role in the 1975 shooting of a Hagerstown grocer.

Ehrlich considered about 20 clemency requests, according to his spokeswoman Shareese N. DeLeaver. "These are the ones he found" worthy, she said.

Charles Terrell Walters, Jr., 56, of Hagerstown, described by state officials as a model inmate, had his life sentence commuted. He and another man were convicted of breaking into R. Charles Hull's grocery store on March 15, 1975. Hull discovered the pair and was fatally shot by a .38-caliber handgun.

Walters was carrying a .32-caliber pistol when he was discovered by police a short while later, according to state officials. His partner had a .38-caliber handgun and was the shooter, authorities believe.

Darrow Glaser, one of the prosecuting attorneys in the case, later said he didn't think Walters played an active role in the killing. "I believed that Walters was as surprised as anyone when the gun went off and [the victim] was shot," Glaser said in 1982, according to the state.

Glaser could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Since his incarceration, Walters earned his General Educational Development certificate, worked as a clerk in the classification office and has not had an infraction in 24 years, according to the state.

Ehrlich commuted Walter's sentence, meaning his conviction will not be expunged. He must also complete 18 months of work release before being released, according to the state.

Five other prisoners who have served their sentences were pardoned, expunging their convictions. They were:

Joshua Peter Klein, 31, convicted of assault in 1993.

Cheryl Clarice McCoy, 37, convicted of battery in 1990.

Albert Eugene Montgomery, 51, convicted in 1979 of petty larceny.

Wayne William Pahl, convicted of marijuana possession in 1971 and 1976.

Rhonda Michele Rhodes, convicted of possession of a controlled dangerous substance in 1984.

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