Man accused of aiding brother in murder...


Man accused of aiding brother in murder plot

FREDERICK -- The brother of a man accused of killing his estranged wife in January 1992 is to be tried June 17 in Frederick County Circuit Court.

On Thursday, bond was reduced to $10,000 for Thomas Theodore Fagan, 38, of Spencerville, who had been held on $250,000 bail on charges of being an accessory after the murder. He also is charged with obstruction of justice, hindering police investigators and perjury.

His brother, William Robert Fagan Sr., has been accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife, Deborah Patricia Fagan, 30, who was found dead in her car near Monrovia.

According to court documents, Thomas Fagan is accused of lying about his brother's ownership of a pistol and sawed-off shotgun. He is also accused of lying about a telephone conversation with the Fagans' mother in Florida on the morning of the woman's death.

William Fagan has requested his trial be moved from Frederick County. A court hearing is scheduled for April 21. His trial is scheduled in June.

$40 detector could have prevented motel blast


HAGERSTOWN -- A $40 gas detector could have prevented a 1990 explosion at the Super 8 Motel in Hagerstown that killed four people, a state fire examiner told a Senate committee.

Deputy Chief State Fire Marshal Bob Thomas, testifying in support of legislation that would make detectors mandatory in hotels, said they could prevent future disaster. The $40 detectors cost about $100 to install.

"After that explosion, the [motel] chain went back and retrofitted their motels with gas-leak detectors," he said Wednesday in Annapolis.

The Super 8 explosion was caused by natural gas leaking from a metal fitting in a utility room, he said. "With this device, there would have been notification of the leak much earlier on."

The bill is being sponsored by Sen. Donald Munson, R-Washington. No one spoke against the legislation in a hearing before the Senate Economic and Environmental Matters Committee.

Hagerstown man guilty of stealing swords


HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown man has pleaded guilty to breaking into a Knights of Columbus Hall and stealing two decorative swords.

Irvin Roger Daley III, 27, entered his plea Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court and was allowed to remain free until sentencing.

Assistant State's Attorney Marc Minkove told visiting Judge James Getty that the swords were stolen Oct. 27 or Oct. 28, 1991. Mr. Daley sold the swords a short time later and was arrested and charged, police said.

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