Officials investigate after burning car found on farm

December 19, 2006|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter

The state fire marshal's office is investigating whether a burning car was intentionally ignited yesterday on a Carroll County farm - whose owner and operator face numerous charges including animal cruelty, selling contaminated meat and feeding garbage to swine.

The New Windsor Fire Department and state police arrived on the scene of the fire in the 2500 block of Marston Road in northwestern Carroll about 11:30 a.m., authorities said. After firefighters extinguished the blaze, the case was turned over to state investigators, Deputy State Fire Marshal W. Faron Taylor said.

The animal cruelty charges against the farm's owner, Carroll L. Schisler Sr., 60, and his son, Carroll L. Schisler Jr., 34, stem from two raids by federal and state investigators in the spring.

Trooper 1st Class Eric D. Workman, who was critically wounded last week in a separate case and is recovering at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, investigated the animal cruelty charges.

Because of Workman's condition, the animal cruelty jury trial, scheduled to begin in Carroll County Circuit Court in late January, has been indefinitely postponed, according to Roland Walker, attorney for Carroll Schisler Sr.

Walker said his client rejected a plea deal in the case last week.

The elder Schisler has also been charged with violating state environmental laws by operating a noncompliant well and overflowing septic system that pollutes Sams Creek, near the Marston farm, according to court documents.

The state put the Schisler farm under a swine quarantine in April, after an emaciated pig that was removed from the property and later died tested positive for a dangerous parasite.

Both Schislers were indicted on 19 related counts in July. Meanwhile, four siblings of Carroll Schisler Sr. have filed a complaint against their brother over control of the 114-acre Marston farm, formerly owned by their mother, who has since died. The feud over the fate of the property should be settled soon, Walker said.

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