Smithsburg siege preceded by marital strife

December 24, 1997

Smithsburg siege preceded by marital strife


Staff Writer

Tuesday's hostage situation was not the first sign of trouble in the marriage of Deborah J. and David William Trumpower.

David Trumpower, 46, of Cavetown, held his estranged wife at gunpoint for six hours before freeing her. He surrendered two hours later, ending a standoff with police in downtown Smithsburg.

The siege at Hadley Farms bakery ended peacefully at about 12:20 p.m.

Deborah Trumpower in February sought a protective order from her husband through Washington County District Court after he threatened to kill her, according to allegations contained in court records.


Deborah Trumpower said in her application for the protective order that she had left David Trumpower, her husband of 24 years, on Feb. 7. She further stated in the application that he later went to the home of one of her friends to find out where she was.

"He told (the friend) that he was going to go to my work and kill me,'' Deborah Trumpower, 43, alleged in her application for the protective order.

She said her husband spent about a week in Washington County Hospital that month, court records said.

He was committed on a petition for emergency evaluation sought by his sister, Cheryl Metzer, according to court records.

In her petition, Metzer said her brother had talked about suicide and possibly harming his wife. She said in the petition that David Trumpower had weapons in his home and had told his family he was going to harm Deborah and himself, court records said.

After David Trumpower left the hospital, Deborah Trumpower said, he went to her place of employment and tried to persuade her to come back, court records said.

When she told him she needed "space," he got angry, Deborah Trumpower said in her protective order application.

Judge Ralph France issued the protective order on Feb. 25, court record said.

A further check of court records revealed David Trumpower violated that protective order and as a result was jailed at the Washington County Detention Center.

After his release from jail on Aug. 31, he was "very depressed and hostile to everyone," according to court records.

Additional threats to family and himself prompted Metzer to petition for another emergency medical evaluation for her brother on Sept. 8, according to court records.

David Trumpower's address is 12041 Mapleville Road, Cavetown, according to court records.

He is a welder by trade, police said. The couple was married Jan. 12, 1973, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

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