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Statement can be used in mistaken-identity shooting trial

February 14, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

A statement made by a Middletown, Md., man to police the day after he allegedly shot one man by mistake and then sought out and shot another man last summer will be admitted at his March 14 trial.

Washington County Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone found no fault with the procedures followed by Frederick County Sheriff's Deputy James Fogle, who initially interviewed Kenneth Daniel Ramsburg the day after the Aug. 14-15 shootings.

Ramsburg, 38, of 7022 Mountain Church Road, is charged in Washington County with attempted first-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, use of a deadly weapon with intent to injure and malicious destruction of property.

In Frederick County, Ramsburg is charged with first-degree assault, attempted murder, reckless endangerment, destruction of property, use of a weapon in the commission of a crime and driving while intoxicated.

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The first shooting occurred at around midnight Aug. 14 as Andy B. Ebner of Middletown was driving a pickup truck in the 7200 block of Mountain Church Road and a Ford pickup came up behind him, court records said.

The driver of the Ford fired three rounds from a shotgun at Ebner, hitting the pickup's tailgate, tool box and rear window, records state.

Shotgun pellets struck Ebner in the back of the head, but he was not seriously injured, court records said.

After the third shot, Ebner got out of his truck, yelling to the other driver, "Why are you shooting at me?" the records state.

The other driver got out of his truck, said he had mistaken Ebner for someone else, and apologized to him, court records said.

The driver handed Ebner his business card, saying he would pay for the damages.

The business card was Ramsburg's, according to court records.

The assailant then drove to Hillside Liquors at 19107 Keep Tryst Road in Washington County, police said.

Officers were called to the liquor store for a report of shots around 12:13 a.m. Aug. 15.

They found that John Collin Smith, 38, of Burkittsville, Md., had been shot in the lower right leg, court records said.

Smith was taken to Washington County Hospital for treatment.

Deputies alleged Ramsburg, Smith and another man had been in a dispute in Frederick County hours before the shootings.

Smith told deputies the assailant pulled into the parking lot of the liquor store, where he and other people were parked.

The man shot Smith and fled, deputies said.

The assailant drove back toward Frederick County along Mountain Church Road, where Ebner was still talking with police about the first shooting.

Ebner saw him and identified the truck and driver, deputies said. Deputies pursued the driver and apprehended him on Mountain Church Road.

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