Lawyer charged in theft of laptop computer She allegedly filed false insurance claim


An Annapolis lawyer has been charged with felony theft for reporting as stolen a laptop computer that she allegedly hid in a closet of her home.

Holly S. Cutler, 41, of the 3500 block of Williamsburg Road in Davidsonville is charged with felony theft from State Farm Insurance Co. and making a false statement to the firm to fraudulently collect $2,939 on her homeowner's policy.

Cutler allegedly told Anne Arundel County police Officer Peter Coleman in October 1995 that her home had been burglarized and that several items were missing, according to a statement of charges filed in Frederick County District Court.

Cutler filed a claim Oct. 12, 1995, with the insurance company, stating that a thief or thieves had taken a $30 dictating machine and a $2,939 laptop, according to the charging statement filed Feb. 21 by Trooper David G. Riggs.

When Cutler moved out of her home in March 1996, she asked her estranged husband, Charles M. Rork, to retrieve the computer, telling him she had it hidden behind a mirror in a closet of the home, according to Riggs' statement.

Court records show the couple has filed for divorce in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

Rork reported the theft to authorities April 9 and turned over the computer to investigators for State Farm, according to Riggs' statement.

Investigators for the insurance company confirmed in June, after a review of the missing computer's files, that Cutler had continued to use the computer after reporting it stolen, according to Riggs' statement.

Cutler, a former assistant public defender who has practiced law in Annapolis for about 15 years, is scheduled to be tried May 14. Each of the two charges against her carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.

In an unrelated case, a carpenter convicted of manslaughter twice since 1984 is charged with burglarizing Cutler's home and assaulting her in a series of incidents in October.

Patrick C. McCullough, who was doing carpentry work on Cutler's house, is charged with assault, burglary and malicious destruction of property.

McCullough, 37, of the 800 block of Chestnut Tree Drive in Annapolis is charged with breaking into Cutler's home, in the 1300 block of Breckenridge Circle in Riva, on Oct. 17.

McCullough, who was released under orders not to have any contact with Cutler, was charged with assault Nov. 2 after he allegedly drove his car across the center line of Davidsonville Road and struck Cutler's vehicle, causing minor damage.

McCullough was sentenced to 10 years in 1985 in the fatal beating of an Annapolis garage attendant and to seven years in 1980 in the death of a shipwright he had worked for in Eastport.

Pub Date: 4/06/97

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