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Slaying suspect remains in jail

September 18, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Officers with the Martinsburg Police Department removed yellow tape from 210 Gussie Ave. on Monday, leaving the white house with no exterior clues that a fatal shooting occurred there Saturday afternoon.

Inside, though, shattered glass surrounded a coffee maker smashed on the kitchen floor. A Bible was overturned on the living room floor, as was a television that was still turned on.

A remodeling specialist who was working at the home allowed a reporter inside to view the scene.

Maria Lynn Decicio-Smith, 34, continued to be held without bond Monday at Eastern Regional Jail. Decicio-Smith was arraigned, and a hearing will be set within 10 days, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela J. Games-Neely said.

Decicio-Smith has been charged with murder, which carries a sentence of up to life in prison, Games-Neely said.

Decicio-Smith's sister told police she saw a man lying face down in the basement when she visited the two-story home near Green Hill Cemetery at around 4 p.m. Saturday, according to charging documents.

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Police said they were continuing to determine the relationship between Decicio-Smith and 45-year-old Richard Earl Amundson, whom officers said also had identifications with his last name as Edmondson and Decicio.

An officer said Monday afternoon that he was awaiting autopsy results.

A Realtor with Cherry Properties said Decicio-Smith rented the single-family home, but declined to talk further about his client.

"She mentioned buying it at one time," the remodeling specialist, Michael Pine, said shortly before he went into the house to remove his ladder.

Pine said he met Decicio-Smith and her teenage daughter, but never a man. He described Decicio-Smith as "very polite."

Pine said she lived in the home for a few months.

Decicio-Smith's sister reportedly told officers that when she left the house earlier in the day, it seemed that Amundson and Decicio-Smith were about to argue. Decicio-Smith called her sister and asked her to return to the house at around 3 p.m., police said in charging documents.

"She advised she did not feel safe in doing that and tried to get someone to go with her," police wrote in the affidavit.

The sister called police, who said they used a Taser to subdue Decicio-Smith on their arrival. She was holding a handgun to her head, police said.

The victim appeared to have been shot at least twice, once each in the lower back and head, police said. A .22-caliber pistol was found at the scene, police said.

A rotisserie fork was near Amundson's left hand, police wrote in the affidavit.

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