6-Month Term Imposed For Hitting Md. Sherrif

Oct. 12, 1968
Special to the Washington Post

CAMBRIDGE, Md., Oct. 11 -- Saying he wanted to raise "one lone voice" to see that law officers are respected, a Dorchester County Circuit Court Judge today sentenced a man to six months in jail for punching the county sheriff.

Judge C. Buram Mace also fined James W. von Brunn $500 on the assault and battery charge plus $200 for drunk driving.

Von Brunn, a 48-year old public relations man and commercial artist from nearby Talbot County, was arrested on a drunk driving charge on July 15, following a brawl at a local restaurant, and taken to the County Jail.

Von Brunn testified that he punched a man at the jail who grabbed a camera from a deputy and attempted to take his picture. Von Brunn said he did not know the man was James Ira Johnson Sr., the sherrif.

Von Brunn's attorneys said their client is a former Navy PT-boat captain with no police record and asked for a suspended sentence.

Judge Mace granted von Brunn four months' suspension on the six-month sentence, providing he behaved himself for the first two months under Johnson's custody, and put him on a year's probation following his release.

Von Brunn was found guilty of the charges by a jury on Oct. 4 after appealing an earlier conviction in People's Court. In the first trial the sentence was 90 days and the fine was higher.

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