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Bel Air veterinarian sentenced to probation


A Bel Air veterinarian was placed on two years' probation and ordered to perform 500 hours of veterinary service within the community as part of a sentence for federal income tax evasion imposed Monday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Dr. Harry W. Abair, who owns and operates the Edgewood-Joppa Veterinary Hospital in the 2000 block of Pulaski Highway in Edgewood, was charged March 23 with underreporting his taxable income for 1990 by more than $44,600. He pleaded guilty April 13.

The plea agreement accepted by Judge J. Frederick Motz also (( calls for the veterinarian to pay about $28,000 in back taxes.

Internal Revenue Service officials in Baltimore said Dr. Abair admitted failing to report nearly 1,900 cash transactions, or about 51 percent of all cash payments he collected from 1988 to 1990.

IRS officials said Dr. Abair had skimmed about $85,000 from his ** cash business without reporting it as income.

Harford Circuit Court

In recent Harford County Circuit Court matters:

* Katherine Sousa Smith, 39, of the 700 block of Paul Drive in Aberdeen was sentenced Tuesday to three years in state prison with all but six months suspended for welfare fraud and lying to welfare authorities between Aug. 19, 1991, and Nov. 30, 1992, court records showed.

Judge William O. Carr accepted the woman's guilty plea in March. He placed her on five years' supervised probation and ordered her to repay $14,752 that she had fraudulently accepted.

Judge Carr gave the woman credit for an undisclosed sum already repaid and allowed her to serve the sentence at the Harford County Detention Center, court records showed.

* Brian Michael Ayers, 30, of the 1600 block of Shucks Road in Churchville was sentenced Tuesday to three years in state prison with all but six months suspended for inappropriately touching a 16-year-old girl.

Judge William O. Carr accepted the man's Alford plea last fall, meaning that the defendant did not admit guilt, but acknowledged that it was in his best interest to accept the plea arrangement.

Judge Carr found the defendant guilty of a fourth-degree sexual offense and battery after hearing a statement of facts that Ayers had followed a girl who lived near him, grabbed her by the hair and fondled her Nov. 10, 1993.

Judge Carr also placed Ayers on five years of supervised probation and ordered him to have no contact with the victim or any of her family.

* Ronald Dean Deppish, 27, of the 300 block of Union Ave. was sentenced Thursday to 35 years in state prison with all but eight years suspended for abusing and sexually assaulting a 3-year-old Cecil County girl, Circuit Court records showed.

Deppish pleaded guilty in April. He had been indicted by a Harford County grand jury for the offenses, which occurred between February and May 1993.

In accepting the plea arrangement, Judge Carr suspended seven years of the 15-year sentence on the child abuse count. He suspended the 20-year sentence on the sexual offense count, but made it consecutive to the first sentence.

On his release, Deppish will be on five years' supervised probation and may have no contact with anyone under age 18 during that period, the judge said.

* Darrin Blair, 30, of the first block of Jacobs St. in Edgewood was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in state prison with all but three years suspended after entering an Alford plea to burglary charges.

The statement of facts indicated that Blair was caught trying to chisel open a safe he had taken Jan. 26 from a Wendy's fast-food restaurant in Edgewood.

Judge Carr accepted the plea arrangement, gave the defendant credit for 65 days in jail and placed him on three years' supervised probation upon his release.

* Michael Benjamin Bowen, 34, of the 600 block of Sequoia Drive in Edgewood was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in state prison with all but seven years suspended for various armed robberies last year.

Judge Carr also placed the defendant, who entered an Alford plea, on three years' supervised probation upon his release.

Prosecutors said that Bowen robbed the High's convenience store in the 1700 block of Hanson Road in Edgewood on Jan. 24, 1994, and Aug. 2. They said he also robbed the Express Deli in the 600 block of Edgewood Road on Aug. 15 and Little Caesar's Pizza in the 2200 block of Hanson Road Aug. 23. A tip led to his arrest the next day, and victims identified him as the robber.

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