'Person of interest' is held on bond

November 17, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

SMITHSBURG - A "person of interest" in Wednesday's slaying of Smithsburg-area resident Shirley Finfrock is being held on $100,000 bond at the Washington County Detention Center on two unrelated second-degree assault charges.

Police have charged Jack Lewis Hammersla Jr., 46, of no fixed address, with assaulting his father on two occasions, most recently on the morning Finfrock's body was found bludgeoned to death in her 22128 Holiday Drive home.

Hammersla is being held at Washington County Detention Center on $100,000 bond.

In charging documents, police allege on two occasions that Hammersla assaulted Jack Hammersla Sr. by punching him with a closed fist in the left eye after arguments that revolved around Hammersla Jr.'s drinking.


The first alleged assault occurred after an early-afternoon argument Oct. 28 at the Mason Dixon Dragway, where Hammersla Jr. and his father worked picking up trash, according to charging documents. The second assault allegedly occurred Nov. 12 at Hammersla Sr.'s residence as the two men prepared to leave for work at about 6:45 a.m., according to charging documents.

Hammersla Sr. told his son after the early Wednesday assault not to return to his Smithsburg home at 116 W. Water St., according to charging documents. Hammersla Sr. told police he has not heard from his son since, the documents state.

Finfrock's body was found at her home by her husband at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Her husband, Edwyn L. Finfrock, known to friends as Lee, left at about 6:30 a.m. for work and returned at about 11:30 a.m. to find Shirley Finfrock, 68, dead in their home.

The Maryland State Medical Examiner's Office ruled Thursday that Finfrock died of blunt-force trauma.

Hammersla Jr. is set to appear in District Court, room one, for bail review at 12:45 p.m. today. The trial hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 28 in District Court, room one.

If convicted, Hammersla could face a maximum of 10 years in prison or a $2,500 fine for each of the second-degree assault charges.

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