- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2008

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A jury denied a man’s claim to half of his neighbor’s winnings from a $1 million state lottery ticket.

The six-member panel deliberated less than 30 minutes yesterday before returning the verdict after a three-day trial in Washington County Circuit Court.

Defendants Brian and Mary Lee Kendle of Fairplay were “very happy with the decision,” their attorney, Edward L. Kuczynski, said.

Judge W. Kennedy Boone ordered that $500,000 of the winnings remain frozen, pending any appeals.

The Kendles’ neighbor and former friend, Frederick S. Cade, testified that he gave Mr. Kendle $20 to buy the “Countdown to Millions” ticket on Dec. 15, 2006, with the agreement that they would split any proceeds. The winning numbers were drawn Jan. 1, 2007.

Mr. Cade, a self-employed electrician, sued the Kendles three weeks later. His strongest evidence was a work receipt on which he said he copied the numbers from the ticket immediately after Mr. Kendle bought it.

Two witnesses testified they saw an exchange of cash between Mr. Cade and Mr. Kendle, a Roto-Rooter operator, inside McNamee’s tavern on the day the ticket was sold there. The evidence was undisputed, Mr. Cade’s attorney, Gregory C. Bannon said in his closing argument.

But Mr. Kuczynski suggested that Mr. Cade had persuaded the women to perjure themselves. He portrayed the rough-hewn Mr. Cade as a sleazy barfly who schemed to cheat his better-dressed neighbors out of half their winnings.

Mr. Bannon acknowledged in his summation that he would rather have dinner with the Kendles than with his client ” but he said that didn’t make Mr. Cade a liar.

“You can throw rocks at him, you can say he’s a lech, that he cheats on his wife ” but you’ve got to look at the facts,” Mr. Bannon said.

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