Sentence finally due
For the fourth time, a Baltimore man who pleaded guilty last year to trying to hire a hit man to murder a friend expects to be sentenced.
Barry Kolodner was to be sentenced by Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. last month, but attorneys for the man said that his brother was having surgery and it was necessary for him to be there. All is apparently on schedule for tomorrow's sentencing, the fourth one scheduled in the last four months.
Kolodner pleaded guilty in December to agreeing to pay a county man $1,500 to kill Michael Blickman, a Baltimore man to whom Kolodner owed $8,000 in gambling debts.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Kolodner is expected to be sentenced to no more than 18 months in state prison.
Court records show Kolodner owed Blickman more than $8,000 lost on a gambling machine in Blickman's East Baltimore arcade. Blickman had been pressuring Kolodner to pay.
Marsh pleads guilty
WESTMINSTER -- A man who gained national attention for serving 14 years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned has pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old baby-sitter.
As part of a plea bargain agreement, Guy Gordon Marsh avoided a return to prison in exchange for his guilty plea to the charge of statutory rape.
Carroll County Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. gave Marsh a three-year suspended sentence on Monday and placed him on three years of unsupervised probation.
Prosecutors also dropped six of seven charges in the case as part of the agreement.
Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill said that the baby-sitter -- now 15 -- agreed to the plea bargain.
Marsh, 45, gained national attention when he was released from prison in 1987 after serving more than 14 years of a life-plus-10-years sentence for the June 1971 slaying of Charles Erdman. The victim was shot while trying to stop a robbery of a convenience store.
The conviction was overturned after a key witness later admitted she lied. Prosecutors decided not to retry Marsh, saying they did not have enough evidence.
After an evidence suppression hearing last month in Carrolll Circuit Court, the only evidence that the prosecution could have turned to in the rape case was the testimony of the baby-sitter. That testimony, say the prosecutor and the defense attorney, would have been scrutinized by a jury.
Barbara Kreiner, Marsh's public defender, said the decision to accept a plea agreement rather than go to trial was to eliminate the possibility of a return trip to state prison.
"This was not a decision that came easily," she said. "While there is no question we could have won this case, Gordie is living proof that justice is not done all of the time. He's been through hell, and he wanted to spare his family from going through it."
Firings are fought
WESTMINSTER -- Sheriff John H. Brown unfairly fired two veteran deputies recently, say the two in court filings here.
Sgt. Paul F. Nolte, who was fired by Brown in March, and Deputy Marvin V. Hewitt, who was fired in April, have appealed their dismissals and are seeking reinstatement, court records show.
Nolte, who was fired on March 27 for unspecified reasons after 18 years on the job, will have his appeal heard by an internal grievance review panel, records show. He filed an appeal in Circuit Court last month.
The three-member Sheriff's Department Trial Board will convene in June, records show.
Hewitt, who has worked for the department for more than 11 years, was fired April 15 after Brown reviewed the results of a March disciplinary hearing by the Trial Board.
The disciplinary hearing -- convened for undisclosed reasons -- had recommended that Brown place a written reprimand in Hewitt's file.
However, court records show that Brown disagreed with the recommendation.
"The charges speak for themselves," Brown wrote on Hewitt's dismissal form, which was included in his appeal filed on Friday. "This contempt for authority cannot and will not be tolerated. I feel any other comments would be pointless."