Crime Watch


May 23, 2006

Cecil County man sentenced to 4 years in starvation case

A Cecil County man was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison in the starvation death of his longtime partner, the Cecil Whig reported.

John Joseph Dougherty, 54, received the maximum 10-year sentence with six years suspended from a judge in Queen Anne's County, where the trial was moved because of publicity about the case.

In March, a jury convicted Dougherty of involuntary manslaughter and neglect in the death of Mary Kilrain, the mother of his three children. Earlier charges of second-degree murder were dismissed.

Kilrain was housebound after suffering an aneurysm in 1999. She was found dead in a filthy room in February 2005. She weighed 81 pounds. An autopsy indicated that she died of starvation and dehydration.

Lawyers for Dougherty, who was taken out of Queen Anne's County Courthouse in shackles and handcuffs, promised to appeal the case within 30 days, the newspaper reported.

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