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Sentence change rejected

The Baltimore Sun

A Howard County Circuit Court judge denied yesterday a request to change the sentence of a former special-education teacher who was convicted in August of a third-degree sex offense involving a 15-year-old boy.

Kirsten Ann Kinley is beset by several medical conditions - including kidney disease, depression and other mental disorders, and contact lens difficulties - that warrant her release from the Howard County Detention Center, her attorney, Thomas Morrow, argued during a 30-minute hearing. Morrow requested that Kinley's sentence be reduced to probation, or that she be allowed to serve home detention.

But Judge Diane O. Leasure, who sentenced Kinley in November to three years in prison with 18 months suspended, said the punishment was fair and denied the request.

Kinley, 27, was arrested Feb. 15 last year and accused of having improper contact with the student in late 2004 and early 2005 while she was teaching at Hammond Middle School in the Laurel area. Kinley pleaded guilty in August to one count of third-degree sex offense.

Morrow said it was unlikely that he would appeal Leasure's decision.

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