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Couple battled over 'other man'

May 09, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

After a two-day fight about "another man," Roland and Suzanne Garde wrestled over a shotgun in the driveway of their Funkstown-area home Monday night, according to court documents.

Suzanne Garde was shot, once in the chest and once in the back. She died a few hours later.

Ronald Louis Garde Jr., 38, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder. He was being held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center. A preliminary hearing is set for June 4.

Garde waived his bond review hearing scheduled for Wednesday before Washington County District Judge Noel Spence.

In his report, Investigator Kenny Barnhart said Suzanne Garde, 34, was alive when Deputy 1st Class Tom Routzahn reached her as she lay bleeding in the driveway of her 10024 Garis Shop Road home at 10:55 p.m.

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She told Routzahn she had been shot by her husband, according to court records.

Court records indicate Roland Garde went to a friend's house and said he was in "deep trouble," court records said.

The friend later told police Roland Garde also said he had "hurt Sue" and, when asked if he'd hit her, said he had shot her, according to court records.

The friend drove Garde to the Maryland State Police barracks where he turned himself in to police.

Roland Garde told Cpl. Kevin Lewis that he had hurt his wife but he hadn't meant for it to happen, court records said.

A few hours later, Investigator Roy Harsh of the Washington County Sheriff's Department took a statement in which Roland Garde allegedly said that he and his wife had been fighting since May 3 about his wife seeing another man.

Garde told Harsh he got a gun from his gun cabinet and was going after the man, court records said.

Garde said he and his wife walked outside and he gave her the gun to hold while he got into the car, according to court records.

They wrestled over the gun and it went off, but Garde said he didn't remember pulling the trigger, court records said.

Roland Garde told Harsh he didn't remember "chambering another shell and shooting twice," according to court records.

Initials reports indicated that Suzanne Garde had been shot twice, once in the chest and once in the back.

The couple lived in a trailer behind a house occupied by the woman's parents.

The weapon, which was recovered along Garis Shop Road near Antietam Recreation, was a 12-gauge Winchester Model 1300 shotgun.

A check of the weapon revealed at least two shots had been fired, and that one spent shell casing and one loaded shell remained in the magazine, police said.

A spent shell was found at the scene.

Records in Washington County courts revealed a 1990 charge of battery against Roland Garde brought by Suzanne Garde.

The case wasn't prosecuted because Suzanne Garde decided not to testify against her husband, court records said.

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