David K. Poole Jr., 78, state's attorney


David K. Poole Jr., a retired lawyer and former Washington County state's attorney, died of stroke complications Tuesday at a Williamsport nursing home. The Hagerstown resident was 78.

Mr. Poole was born in Hagerstown and raised in Downsville and Williamsport. After graduating from Randolph-Macon Military Academy in 1944, he enlisted in the Army and served as a rifleman with Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army. His decorations included two Purple Hearts.

He was in the first graduating class of Hagerstown Junior College and earned a bachelor's degree in 1950 from what is now McDaniel College. He was a 1953 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law.

As state's attorney in 1963, Mr. Poole assisted Baltimore prosecutors after the highly publicized murder trial of William D. Zantzinger, a Charles County tobacco farmer, was moved to Hagerstown.

The victim, Hattie Carroll, 51, a black barmaid at Baltimore's Emerson Hotel, died after being struck with a 26-cent carnival cane wielded by Zantzinger, after he complained that she was slow in bringing a drink he had ordered at a society ball there.

Mr. Zantzinger was convicted of manslaughter, fined $500 and given a six-month sentence.

"My father didn't like Zantzinger at all and felt that the sentence was awfully light for what he had done," said Mr. Poole's son, David Bruce Poole, a Hagerstown lawyer. The case was the inspiration for the Bob Dylan song, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll."

Mr. Poole later served as an attorney for several municipalities, and in the early 1970s founded what is now the Hagerstown law firm of Poole & Kane. He retired in 2000.

He was a member and usher at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, where services will be held at 11 a.m. today.

Mr. Poole also is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Janice Zaiser; a daughter, Diane M. Laughlin of Frederick; and three grandchildren.

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