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Charges in slaying sent to Circuit Court

March 10, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A spent bullet casing found in Ricky Rinaldo Stallings Jr.'s vehicle matched a spent casing found on the ground near where a fatal shot was fired last month at Mary Elizabeth Williams, Washington County Sheriff's Department Investigator Gregory Alton testified Wednesday during Stallings' preliminary hearing.

Stallings, 23, whose address is listed in court records as 6088 Molly Pitcher Highway, Apt. 3, in Chambersburg, Pa., faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder, in the Feb. 8 shooting death of Williams outside her 13915 Maugansville Road home.

Police said in charging documents that Stallings is the nephew of Williams' estranged husband, L. Richard Williams.

Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II found during the hearing that there was "more than enough probable cause" for the charges against Stallings to be forwarded to Circuit Court.

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Alton testified that Christopher Hobart, a co-worker of Williams, 34, had picked her up for work on the Alpine Drive side of her house at about 7:50 a.m. when a man in a dark utility vehicle pulled up beside Hobart's car.

He testified that Williams was in the front passenger seat and that the man motioned to her to get out. Hobart, upon seeing the man had a gun, "pulled off at a high rate of speed and heard several shots fired," Alton said.

Hobart, fearing the assailant was chasing him, drove to the Sheriff's Department, but discovered on the way that Williams had been shot, Alton testified. She later was pronounced dead at Washington County Hospital, he testified.

A Winchester 9 mm spent shell casing was found on the ground on Alpine Drive where the shooting occurred and another Winchester 9 mm spent shell casing was found in Stallings' vehicle, Alton testified.

Stallings' attorney, Daniel Mahone, questioned Alton about the length of time Hobart, who picked Stallings' picture out of a photo lineup, saw the assailant.

Alton testified that Hobart described the assailant as a black man in his 20s, with a thin build, who was clean shaven with braids. Mahone questioned Alton about whether Hobart was specific in his description of the assailant's skin tone and questioned Hobart's color description of the assailant's vehicle.

"Initially he said black, then he said blue and then he just said a dark color," Alton testified.

He testified that the vehicle was dark green. Hobart observed it for "a matter of seconds" and did not get the tag number of the vehicle, Alton testified.

Mahone told France, "We believe that the information provided here today is not sufficient to hold Mr. Stallings on these charges."

France ordered that Stallings continue to be held without bond.

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