Former Montgomery County politician Ruthann Aron will not be paroled early from her three-year sentence for soliciting the murders of her estranged husband and a District lawyer, authorities announced yesterday.
In a unanimous vote, the Maryland Parole Commission ruled Friday that Aron must serve the remainder of her sentence because of the seriousness of her crimes and the fact that both victims objected to her early release, said commission spokesman Leonard A. Sipes Jr.
Aron, once a Potomac millionaire and U.S. Senate candidate, was ordered in November to serve two consecutive 18-month sentences in the Montgomery County Detention Center after she pleaded no contest during her second trial to trying to hire a hit man in June 1997. Her first trial ended in a hung jury.
The commission's ruling means Aron will not be considered again for parole. She will be eligible for a Montgomery County work-release program in April and could be released from custody altogether in October of next year, a county jail official said.
Aron told a parole hearing officer during a meeting at the Montgomery County jail Thursday that her mental illness, which she had blamed for the murder plot, was getting worse, said Charles Cockerill, her former attorney.
She also asked that if she were not paroled immediately, that she be paroled in six months so she could be transferred to a halfway house and see her psychiatrist at Suburban Hospital during the day, Cockerill said.
"Her medical condition is deteriorating in jail," Cockerill said yesterday. "The jail is not a hospital. . . . Some days she seems fine, but some days she's very, very anxious."
An undercover detective posing as a hit man recorded Aron ordering the killing of her husband, Barry Aron, and Arthur Kahn, a lawyer who had testified against her in a lawsuit stemming from her failed U.S. Senate bid in 1994. Montgomery prosecutors said Aron feared that both might ruin her plans to run for the Montgomery County Council.
Barry Aron could not be reached yesterday, and his attorney did not return a call seeking comment. The Arons divorced in June, though a judge has yet to divide their money, and their multimillion-dollar lawsuits--each sued the other over the murder plot case--are pending.
Kahn said he was relieved upon hearing yesterday that Aron will not be paroled, saying he believes she already got "special treatment" by being allowed to serve her sentence in the county jail when she could have faced eight to 18 years in prison. And he, for one, still considers her a threat.
"They say revenge is a dish best served cold," Kahn said, "and she's a vindictive woman."
CAPTION: Former politician Ruthann Aron is serving a three-year jail sentence.