FRUITLAND, Md. - A man who was accused of murdering a man and burying him behind a Fruitland home pleaded guilty, last Thursday.
According to online court records, Douglas Harlow pleaded guilty to second degree assault, and disposing of a body in an unauthorized place in connection with the death of Ronnie Mackert. Harlow was however not prosecuted for second degree murder, first degree assault and reckless endangerment.
Court records also show that Harlow received eight years for the second degree assault charge, suspend all but 302 days, one year for the disposing of a body in an unauthorized place, suspend all but a year and three years of supervised probation.
Harlow was arrested on December 6 after Fruitland Police received a call regarding a potential burial site on South Division Street in Fruitland on Monday, December 5. That Tuesday, investigators arrived and began an excavation process that found a decomposing body wrapped in a blanket.
After the body was sent to the medical examiner's office, it was identified as 63-year-old Ronnie Mackert. A witness reportedly told police at the time about a homicide that happened in February or March where Harlow was involved in a fight with Mackert where Harlow assaulted him and kicked him out of the house during a night of drinking with friends.
Mackert was seen alive after the fight, but he was allegedly later found dead of an apparent stab wound.
Harlow was initially charged with first and second degree murder, first degree assault, reckless endangerment, assault with a deadly weapon and improper disposal of a body.
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