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Cops charge N.Y. man in bar slaying

June 07, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Hagerstown City Police have charged a man with first-degree murder in a shooting death last month inside a North Jonathan Street bar.

Stephen Lamar Urquhart is charged in the death of Christopher Jason Ayala, 23, who was pronounced dead May 22 at Washington County Hospital after he was shot at about 11 p.m.

Lt. Mike King said Wednesday that Urquhart remained at large and was considered armed and dangerous, King said.

Urquhart, 26, is described as a black man, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 250 to 290 pounds, King said. He has black hair and brown eyes, King said.

Urquhart is originally from New York, but police did not know where he might be now, King said.

Several law enforcement agencies were actively searching for Urquhart, King said Wednesday. He would not say which agencies were involved.

Investigators believe Urquhart lived in the Hagerstown area for about six months before the shooting, King said.

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Court records from Baltimore County District Court show that Urquhart was charged with second-degree assault, second-degree malicious burning and malicious destruction of property in a January 2006 incident.

Other robbery and assault charges against Urquhart dating to 2004 were dismissed, according to Baltimore County District Court records.

Court records also show that Urquhart was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and the other charge was dropped, court records from Baltimore County District Court show.

In a separate case in Baltimore County District Court, Urquhart pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in an incident on July 20, 2004, court records show.

Police believe more witnesses were in Zipper's the night of the shooting than have come forward, King said.

"No one will volunteer information right now," he said.

Police believe 20 to 30 people were inside the bar when Ayala was shot.

Anyone with information about the shooting or Urquhart's whereabouts may call police at 301-790-3700.

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