Judge denies defense motion in murder case

May 29, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

A judge ruled Thursday that evidence in an August 1997 shooting death in downtown Hagerstown was admissible in the upcoming trial of one of the defendants, despite spirited defense efforts to have it thrown out.

Hagerstown residents Jerome Bernard Lockley, 19, and David Paul Paschall Sr., 24, are each charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

At the crux of the debate Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court was how police obtained a watch belonging to the victim of the Aug. 25, 1997 shooting - a watch that was found in a boot belonging to defendant David Paul Paschall.

The boot was found by Hagerstown City Police in a room Paschall claimed he shared with his girlfriend, Jessica Murray, at 22516 Cave Hill Road, Smithsburg.


Police first learned of that watch when they interviewed Paschall the day after the death of Matthew Roy Hovis, 25, of Waynesboro, Pa.

Hovis, of 24 W. Main St., Apt. 4, was found lying face up in the parking lot at the rear of the Adult Book Store at 12:23 a.m. on Aug. 25, Hagerstown City Police said. He had been shot once in the head.

Defense attorneys Tom Sinton and Steve Kessell argued that Paschall lived at the Smithsburg address and had a constitutional right to expect privacy.

But Judge Frederick C. Wright III pointed out that Paschall wasn't on the lease, only had one change of clothes at the house and police had tacit permission from the homeowner to be in the room.

Paschall also gave police an address in Hagerstown, not Smithsburg, when he was arrested.

According to police reports, Lockley told police he and Paschall went to the parking lot that night to rob someone.

When the two men arrived, they first walked past the victim, who was standing by his car, police reports said. They approached him as he walked toward the building, police reports said.

Lockley told police he pulled out a gun, put it to Hovis' head and told him to freeze, police reports said. Lockley then told police he cocked the gun.

Hovis raised his hands and was told to hand over his money. Some money was taken along with some papers and the watch, police said.

Lockley told police he tried to uncock the gun and when he did, it went off, striking Hovis in the head, police reports said.

Lockley's efforts to quash that statement failed in a recent court hearing, and both he and Paschall will be scheduled for trials in the near future.

The Herald-Mail Articles