Man gets 30 years in kidnapping incident

December 02, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - A former Keedysville man who served time for holding his ex-wife hostage eight years ago pleaded guilty Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court to stealing another man's van at gunpoint and using it to kidnap his ex-girlfriend in Hancock in April 2003.

David William Trumpower, 54, was sentenced Thursday by Circuit Judge John H. McDowell to serve 30 years in prison.

McDowell told Trumpower, "You're too dangerous to remain in society."

Trumpower, who is serving seven to 20 years in a Pennsylvania prison on that state's charges in the April 12, 2003, incident that ended in Fulton County, pleaded guilty Thursday to kidnapping, armed carjacking and violating probation.

He was indicted by a Circuit Court grand jury in September 2004 on 26 counts related to the incident. The prosecution agreed to seek a total of 30 years on the combined charges if Trumpower pleaded guilty to the three charges Thursday, Assistant State's Attorney Robert Veil said.


McDowell ordered that his 30-year sentence be served concurrently with the Pennsylvania sentence. He told him he would not be eligible for parole until he served half of his sentence because the offenses are considered "crimes of violence."

On April 12, 2003, shortly before 5 p.m., Elton Ensor was driving Suzanne Sykes in a Chevrolet van to her car at the Park 'N' Ride in Hancock when Sykes recognized Trumpower, a former boyfriend, sitting in a Buick parked there, Veil said.

She "identified him immediately because she was extremely frightened and screamed, 'Get out of here. He's going to kill me,'" Veil said.

But Trumpower blocked the van from leaving the parking lot, got out of his car and pointed a gun at the Ensor's head, Veil said. Ensor got out of the van and Trumpower took his place, driving Sykes into Pennsylvania, where he was apprehended after a nearly eight-hour standoff, according to Veil and published reports.

He had been holding a gun to Sykes' head under a tarp in a wooded area in rural Fulton County when he surrendered her unharmed to police, according to published reports.

Trumpower told McDowell Thursday, "At the time of this, I was on a lot of medication for pain - narcotics ... I think it sort of messed my mind. I don't remember a whole lot about that day. I was suicidal."

He told McDowell that he takes "full responsibility" for the crimes.

"All the burden rests on me," he said.

In the spring of 1999, Trumpower was sentenced to serve six years in a Maryland prison for false imprisonment, second-degree assault and a firearms violation for the December 1997 hostage-taking of his ex-wife at the Hadley Farms bakery in Smithsburg, according to published reports.

Distraught over the breakup of his marriage, Trumpower arrived at the bakery where his ex-wife worked and spotted her in a car with her boyfriend, according to published reports. Armed with a sawed-off shotgun, he grabbed her and held her at gunpoint for the next four hours inside the bakery, according to published reports.

Released after serving fewer than 3 1/2 years of his six-year sentence, Trumpower was living with his sister in Keedysville at the time of the 2003 incident, Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class Michael Kretzer said at the time of the incident.

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