A Delaware man was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison for violating his probation by having his former girlfriend arrested on false charges of attempted murder.
Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court ordered the sentence for William Edward Kennedy, 35, of Harrington, Del.
Kennedy was placed on five years' probation in November after he pleaded guilty to assault and battery for burning Cathy Rone, 27, of Linthicum with a cigarette and beating her two months earlier. He was ordered to have no contact with her.
The defense argued yesterday that Ms. Rone's arrest should not be considered contact, but Judge Thieme said that he did not believe Kennedy's testimony during a hearing yesterday.
"I believe there was contact," he said. "Contact of the worst type: abuse of the criminal justice process."
The judge said he thought Kennedy plotted with his wife to file the false charges.
Last month, Maryland State Police arrested Ms. Rone on a Delaware warrant charging that she tried to shoot Reba Macklin, then Kennedy's girlfriend and now his wife. Ms. Rone was kept in a holding cell at the Glen Burnie barracks for five hours before she could prove she had been at work at the time the alleged shooting was supposed to have taken place.
Mrs. Kennedy has pleaded guilty in Delaware to filing a false report. Her husband is to stand trial on those charges Monday.
Mrs. Kennedy said yesterday that she pleaded guilty to the Delaware charges because she was drunk when she talked to police.
She said she did not want to retract anything because she could not remember what she said.
"By the time they [the police] got to my house, I was in my bedroom intoxicated and I didn't even see them," she said. "I have no recollection about what I told Delaware State Police."
Kennedy told Judge Thieme that he called the state police after he arrived home and found his wife hysterical about phone calls she had received from Ms. Rone. "I was afraid for her safety," he said.
He said he told police that there was a "bodily threat" involving a gun. He said state police talked to his wife through the bedroom door and never saw her.
But Delaware State Trooper Steve Whalen testified that Mrs. Kennedy did not appear to be drunk and that he talked to her in the hallway of the couple's mobile home.
While Ms. Rone has accused Kennedy of harassing her since they ended their relationship two years ago, he makes the reciprocal claim.
"This thing with [Ms. Rone] has been dragging on for two years," he said. "The lady will not leave me alone."
Ms. Rone filed telephone harassment charges against Kennedy in May, claiming that he used her telephone calling card to make at least $436.53 worth of long distance calls he has not paid for.
Those charges were placed on the inactive docket and Kennedy was never prosecuted.