Former State Trooper pleads guilty in doemstic violence case.
A Walkersville resident serving life in prison for conspiring to murder his estranged wife is not getting out anytime soon. William Fagan had argued last month for a reconsideration of his life sentence, but was turned down by Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Ed Dwyer, whose ruling was issued on Monday.
Fagan was charged with fatally shooting his estranged wife, Deborah, in January, 1992. Her body was inside of her car parked on Ashcroft Terrace.
Fagan went on trial twice for the homicide. The first time ended with a hung jury. The case was moved to Montgomery County, where he was convicted of conspiring to killed Deborah Fagan, but not 1st-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison by Circuit Court Judge Mary Ann Stepler, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.
While preparations were being made for a third trial, Fagan reached a plea agreement with the state in 1997. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder his estranged spouse. Judge Stepler sentenced him to life in prison, with all but ten years suspended.
He was out on probation in 2003 when he was arrested in Montgomery County for driving under the influence of alcohol. He was granted probation before judgment in Montgomery County, but brought back to Frederick County for violating his probation. Judge Stepler then sentenced him to life in prison. She has since retired from the bench.
State's Attorney Charlie Smith says in July, Fagan tried to convince the court that he was not familiar with the law when he agreed to his guilty plea in 1997, but the judge didn't buy it. "The plea was knowingly and voluntary, and that his earlier criminal trials in the matter were clearly understood about what he was doing then as well," says Smith. "So we're pretty happy about that, so he's going to continue to serve the life sentence."
Smith says Fagan can request a modification of his sentence, and the State will fight that in court as well.
In other court-related matters, a former Maryland State Trooper entered a plea Monday in a domestic violence case. Eric Funk pleaded guilty to attempted 1st-degree burglary, 2nd-degree assault and violation of a protective order. He's expected to be sentenced on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00. Smith says the state will be asking for 30 years in prison, with all but six-months suspended. It also will be asking for five-years supervised probation.
Funk was arrested in February, 2012 for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Smith says Funk, of Woodsboro, came to his former girlfriend's home on Dill Avenue in Frederick, and smashed a window, causing the shattered glass to strike her. She suffered cuts on her face and shoulders.
He then went to a home of an acquaintance on Rockwell Terrace. The police were called and Funk was arrested without incident. "He made several statements about 'glad you guy got there in time because I wasn't going to stop," Smith says. He says Funk told investigating officers that he planned to kill his ex-girlfriend.
"It's sad to hear something like that from a former law enforcement officer," Smith says. "But obviously, he's a troubled person, and he was taking it out on that woman."
State Police say Funk was a 14-year veteran of the agency until he left in 2008.