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CRIME WATCH

The Baltimore Sun

Man gets 40-year term in killing-for-hire try

Calling him "a scary guy," a Baltimore County judge sentenced a convicted sex abuser to 40 years in prison yesterday for trying to hire a fellow inmate to kill a developer and to set fire to the house of a woman who had told people at her church about the abuse case.

Michael B. Martin, 46, maintained throughout his trial in November that any requests he made of his former cellmate to kill or hurt people were idle chatter.

But in sentencing Martin, Circuit Judge Dana M. Levitz equated such discussions to an airplane passenger saying he has a bomb. "Normal people don't do that," Levitz said. "That's scary to people."

Martin was convicted of trying to hire an inmate in the county jail to kill a real estate developer with whom he had a dispute and to burn the home of a woman who told church members about Martin's sex abuse case. He was acquitted of plotting to kill a lawyer who prosecuted him for the sexual abuse of a girl.

During a three-day trial, police testified about evidence of Internet searches and photographs they recovered from Martin's computers of the homes, offices and vehicles of some of the defendant's supposed targets.

And during a recorded conversation between Martin and his one-time cellmate, the defendant offered detailed descriptions of the homes and neighborhoods of a county prosecutor and a then-72-year-old woman.

Martin is serving a one-year sentence for sexually abusing a girl and 12 years for obstructing justice and harassing people involved in that case.

Jennifer McMenamin

Man fatally shot in Dundalk

Baltimore County homicide detectives were investigating the fatal shooting last night of a man in Dundalk.

No arrest had been made.

About 9:30 p.m., police from the North Point Precinct responding to a report of a man who might have been hit by a car at Church and Searles roads found the victim lying in the street bleeding from a gunshot wound.

Police said the man, whose identity was withheld pending notification of family members, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The site was about three blocks from the precinct station and near Lynch Cove Park.

Police said anyone with information is asked to call the precinct at 410-887-7320 or the homicide squad at 410-887-3943.

Richard Irwin

Man indicted in sex abuse case

A 53-year-old Forest Hill man is being held on $2 million bond at the Harford County Detention Center after being indicted on charges of sexual abuse of minors, authorities said yesterday.

Thomas A. Kaiser was indicted by a Harford County grand jury Wednesday and arrested Friday.

Kaiser is charged with the sexual abuse of two minors, conspiracy to commit child sexual abuse, production and possession of child pornography, all of which occurred in 2007, according to Harford County State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly.

Kaiser also was indicted on charges of second- and third-degree sexual offense of a 13-year-old girl, which occurred in 1981, according to Cassilly.

There is no statute of limitations for felonies in Maryland, said Jeffrey Michael of the Harford County Child Advocacy Center.

Anyone with information is asked contact the advocacy center at 410-638-3294.

Worker's death ruled homicide

The death of a Carroll County man whose body was found in the video store where he worked has been ruled a homicide, Maryland State Police said yesterday.

Gary L. Hatfield, 54, of Manchester was found late Saturday lying near a counter at the back of H and D Movie Sales in the 2000 block of Suffolk Road in Finksburg, police said. Family members had gone looking for him when he did not return home at the usual time.

The cause of Hatfield's death remains under investigation, state police spokesman Greg Shipley said. An unknown amount of money was taken from the store Saturday night, he said.

Police are looking for a light-colored minivan with wood-panel sides, which was seen Saturday night on the shopping center parking lot, Shipley said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Maryland State Police Westminster barracks at 410-386-3000.

Arin Gencer

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