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Man charged in baby's death waives preliminary hearing

February 01, 2007|By PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man charged with killing his girlfriend's baby in January had his preliminary hearing waived Thursday in Washington County District Court.

Floyd Edward Bingaman III is being represented by former Frederick County State's Attorney Scott L. Rolle, who asked that the case be sent to Washington County Circuit Court for a jury trial.

Bingaman, 20, of 17308 Amber Drive, faces a charge of first-degree murder, among other charges, in the Jan. 6 death of 4-month-old Justice Calvin Stotler.

The baby was taken to Washington County Hospital at about 11 p.m. Jan. 4 after his mother, Ashley Stotler, found him lying in his crib, cold and with a large knot on the back of his head, at their 13502 Spriggs Road home near Maugansville, charging documents state.

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The Washington County Sheriff's Department alleges in charging documents that Bingaman, who was Stotler's boyfriend at the time, shook Justice and banged his head while his mother took a shower earlier that evening.

According to charging documents, Justice was flown from Washington County Hospital to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where Dr. Alan Walker, a certified specialist in "shaken baby syndrome," called Justice's injuries "the worst he has seen in his 30 years."

The baby was shaken so severely that "the retina to one of his eyes actually detached," documents state. Traumatic injuries found on the baby's skull were consistent with the baby's "head being repeatedly struck against a hard object such as a wall or being struck with some type of blunt object," Walker told deputies, according to charging documents.

Bingaman had told Stotler that Justice was "'fussy' and had 'puked' while she was taking a shower, however he was able to quiet Justice down and then placed him back in his crib," court records show. He told deputies the death "wasn't intentional."

Rolle would not comment on the case Thursday.

Rolle, who served 12 years as Frederick County State's Attorney, sought the office of Maryland Attorney General, but lost his bid in the November election.

He said he opened a private practice that handles criminal defense and personal injury cases in Frederick on Jan. 3.

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