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Man faces charges in woman's slaying

February 10, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD and BRIAN SHAPPELL

pepperb@herald-mail.com
shappell@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A man charged with the Tuesday morning shooting death of a woman in Maugansville was returned to Washington County from Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

Ricky Rinaldo Stallings Jr., 23, whose address is listed in court records as 6088 Molly Pitcher Highway, Apt. 3, in Chambersburg, Pa., faces 16 charges in Washington County related to the shooting death of Mary Elizabeth Williams.

Police allege that Stallings, the cousin of Williams' estranged husband, L. Richard Williams, fatally shot the woman at about 8 a.m. Tuesday on Alpine Drive, to the side of her 13915 Maugansville Road home.

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Stallings was charged with first- and second-degree murder, attempted first- and second-degree murder, handgun on person, handgun in a vehicle, illegal possession of a handgun and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, according to court records. He also was charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and use of a handgun in a felony/violent crime, records state.

Stallings, who waived extradition Wednesday in Franklin County, Pa., was returned to Washington County later in the day.

Washington County District Court Commissioner Timothy Haven ordered Wednesday that Stallings be held without bond.

Stallings was being held Wednesday evening at the Washington County Detention Center, a spokesman there said.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Investigator Gregory Alton said Wednesday that the department had conducted searches and gained "crucial evidence" in the case. Alton declined to discuss what that evidence might be.

Alton said the sheriff's department was asking a witness who might have seen something important to the case just before the shooting to contact him at 240-313-2185. Investigators believe the witness saw a suspicious vehicle at Maugansville Creamery before the shooting.

Stallings was taken into custody about three hours after the shooting. He was picked up by Pennsylvania State Police at his place of work, Chambersburg Pipe and Steel Supply Co.

Sheriff's department Sgt. Mark Knight said Wednesday that the investigation was in its early stages.

"We've got one guy now. It wouldn't be fair for us to just drop the ball and not look elsewhere," he said. On the other hand, he said, "I can't sit here and say we're looking at anyone else."

Knight said investigators were trying to pin down a motive for the attack.

"What was the motive and did it have to do with anyone else? That's the biggest thing right now," he said.

Knight said authorities armed with warrants searched two houses and Stallings' Chevrolet Blazer on Tuesday.

Information about the weapon used in the shooting and its whereabouts was being withheld, Knight said.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, 34, was sitting in the passenger seat of co-worker Christopher Hobart's Chevrolet Lumina, just after being picked up to go to work at First Data, when she was shot.

Her assailant "pulled up beside her, motioned for her to get out and when the (Lumina) moved, he opened fire," Capt. Doug Mullendore said Tuesday.

Mullendore said Williams was shot once in the upper torso. With his windshield damaged and passenger window shattered, Hobart drove Williams to the Washington County Sheriff's Department patrol division, he said.

Washington County Detention Center nurses worked on Williams until a Halfway ambulance arrived. She later was pronounced dead at Washington County Hospital.

According to court records, Mary Williams had two children, a 6-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy, and had filed for divorce. Mullendore said Tuesday afternoon that the children were with their grandparents.

Both Williams and her estranged husband worked at First Data, according to court documents.

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