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College professor granted bail in Carroll killing-for-hire case


A college professor posted bond yesterday after being jailed since April 12 on charges that she conspired with a former boyfriend - a jail inmate - to kill her ex-husband by causing a fire at his Pennsylvania hunting cabin.

Constance Lee Etzler, 45, of the 2100 block of Carrollton Road in Finksburg had been held without bail at the Carroll County Detention Center on charges of conspiracy and of solicitation to kill William Lee Etzler, a Westminster accountant. The couple divorced in 1994, but had a custody dispute about one of their two teen-age children.

A Circuit Court judge set bail of $100,000 yesterday after a hearing.

Etzler was arrested a week after Carroll authorities were contacted by an inmate who claimed he had plotted with her to kill her former husband, according to charging documents. The next day, police said, they found four gasoline cans under the former husband's cabin in Clearville, Pa., about 10 miles north of Cumberland. The intended victim, a smoker, apparently never used the cabin during the time of the alleged plot.

When she was arrested, Etzler was midway through her dissertation for doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University and had been an associate professor for more than five years at Montgomery College, where she taught reading and English as a second language.

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