Fear high in Md. neighborhood

August 30, 1997


Staff Writer

The woman at 441/2 E. Franklin St. looked nervous as she stood in the door of her apartment talking about two of her neighbors, charged in two separate slayings this week.

"It's a scary thing knowing (they) were staying in the same building you're staying in," the woman said.

James Thomas and David Paul Paschall Sr. shared the same apartment building at 441/2 E. Franklin St.

Now the two men again share the same address, the Washington County Detention Center, where they are being held as suspects in two separate slayings.

Thomas is believed to have lived in an apartment on the third floor while Paschall lived on the first floor with a separate street entrance. His glass door is covered with a brown blanket with a white horse on it, hung upside down.


Thomas, 30, is suspected in the death of Darrius Allen Fetterhoff, who was beaten severely on Aug. 20 and lay unconscious for five days before a fisherman found him. He died Thursday at Washington County Hospital.

Thomas is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Both are being held without bond.

Washington County State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. met with investigators Friday to discuss the possibility of new charges in the wake of the death.

Paschall, 23, also lived at 441/2 E. Franklin St. He is charged with a second man with first-degree murder, felony murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. He is charged with shooting Matthew Roy Hovis, 25, of Waynesboro, Pa., in the parking lot behind the Adult Book Store early Monday.

The neighbors said they did not know if Paschall or Thomas know each other.

One neighbor said she always thought the building was "rough."

She said police have routinely raided one apartment or another.

But after she read newspaper articles about the two separate cases and saw the two men shared her address, she decided it's time to move.

"I'm saving my money now. It was quiet, peaceful once," she said.

Like another woman interviewed at the building, she asked that her name not be published. She said she is worried about what her other neighbors might say or do.

"A lot of people hang out in front. You see them drink out there. Sometimes you couldn't get in your own building," she said.

"It's weird. When I found out about it, I was freaking," said the woman who has lived in the building for nine years.

The three-story brick building is covered with grime. The inside stairway reeks of an unidentifiable odor.

Stubbed out cigarettes and empty packs dot the front sidewalk.

Pat Carnes, 53, owner of Pat's Magic Touch at 541/2 E. Franklin St., said she thought it was bad enough when one person had been accused of committing a murder next door to her hair salon.

"I was really frightened when I heard the second one lived up here," Carnes said.

"It's exciting here on Franklin Street," Carnes said. "It hurts my business and I am scared. I used to be a person never afraid, but now I am."

Debbie Vinson, owner of Deb's Flowers and Gifts at 52 E. Franklin St., said she's walked down the street to deliver flowers and seen a woman sitting on the front stoop of 441/2 E. Franklin St. snorting cocaine openly.

She said she did not recognize the woman as a tenant there, but that it's not unusual to see large groups of people hanging out in front of the building.

"That bothers me," Vinson said.

Michael Norr, 24, of nearby East Avenue, walked by 441/2 E. Franklin St. and said that when he had been walking downtown on Wednesday afternoon, a police officer pulled him over, thinking he looked like Paschall, who police were looking for.

The officer asked for his identification and questioned him before letting him go.

He later found out from a friend who has a police monitor that the police believed he matched the description of Paschall.

"He just wanted to make sure I didn't do it," Norr said with a laugh.

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