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Intruder shot, killed in apartment

July 02, 2007|By TAMELA BAKER

HAGERSTOWN - A 32-year-old Hagerstown man is dead and a 21-year-old man faces 18 charges after an apparent attempted robbery early Sunday at Youngstoun Court turned violent, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies were called to an apartment on Youngstoun Court shortly after 3:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of a shooting, according to a news release. Deputies found James Michael Conely, of 329 Central Ave., dead in a bedroom, allegedly shot and stabbed by one of the apartment's residents during a struggle.

Michael John Watkins, of 42 East Ave., has been charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary; first-, third- and fourth-degree conspiracy to commit burglary; and two counts each of attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted theft and conspiracy to commit theft.

According to charging documents, the apartment's occupants - Carri Humphrey, 22, and Michelle Reeder, 24 - were preparing for bed at about 3 a.m. Sunday when someone knocked at their door. Humphrey said she looked through the peephole and saw a man who looked like another resident of their building.

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She opened the door, and Conely, carrying a rifle and covering his face with a red bandanna, rushed in to the apartment, documents state. Humphrey said she screamed to Reeder to get her handgun. Conely then pushed Humphrey into a closet door, hit her in the face and head with his fist, and pointed his gun at her, documents state.

Reeder retrieved a handgun she owned, ran into the living room and saw Conely holding his gun to Humphrey's head, documents state. Reeder said she took cover behind a couch and attempted to fire a warning shot, but her gun's safety was still on. As she turned it off, Conely pointed his gun at her and said he was going to kill her, documents state.

Reeder said she fired several shots at him, but couldn't tell whether she hit him because he was still coming toward her. Police said Conely suffered a gunshot wound to the upper torso.

Reeder said Conely struck her on the head with his gun, and she briefly blacked out. Then, she said, he chased her into her bedroom, where they struggled, documents state.

Humphrey said she locked herself in the bathroom to call 911, and, hearing the fighting in the bedroom, ran to that room. Reeder told her to "get me my knife," she said, so Humphrey got the knife and gave it to her roommate. Reeder stabbed Conely in the back, and the women fled to a neighbor's residence, documents state.

A deputy responding to the call spotted a man on Mount Aetna Road who matched the description of the one who allegedly knocked on the women's door. He took the man into custody.

Watkins told police that he had been at Conely's residence Saturday night, and that Conely had said he knew of an apartment where they could find drugs and money, documents state. Watkins said the men then planned a robbery, and Conely directed Watkins to the women's apartment. Watkins said he didn't know Conely had a gun, according to the charging documents.

The women were treated at Washington County Hospital and released, a hospital spokeswoman said Sunday.

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