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Weeks before death, woman granted protective order

Shooting suspect had frequent run-ins with the law

Shooting suspect had frequent run-ins with the law

December 20, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS and ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HALFWAY ? Seven weeks before she was found dead in a Halfway apartment, Alison Munson asked a judge to have guns and knives taken away from her longtime boyfriend, court records show.

Her request was denied.

Now, the 31-year-old woman is dead, and her former boyfriend, Douglas Wayne Pryor, 29, of Smithsburg, is charged with stabbing her and fatally shooting a Smithsburg Police officer, Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore said.

Court records, news reports and neighbors paint a picture of a long, rocky relationship that came to a boiling point about two months ago.

Munson lived with Pryor for 10 years and had two children with him, according to court records. About a month ago, she moved into 17424 Mapleleaf Court, neighbors in the Halfway Manor apartment complex said.

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Oct. 31 assault led Munson to seek protective order

Court records show Pryor had a temper, challenged police officers more than once and faced multiple criminal and civil complaints from Munson.

He was charged with second-degree assault Nov. 1 in the incident that led Munson to ask the court for a protective order and to take away Pryor's weapons, according to court records.

The charge stemmed from an incident Oct. 31 when Pryor, enraged over a letter he read, began to hit Munson, causing bruising on her head, face, chest and forearm, Deputy M. Sullivan wrote in charging documents filed in Washington County District Court.

Munson visited someone at Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md., on Sept. 30. When Pryor learned about the visit in a letter Oct. 31, he became furious, Sullivan wrote in charging documents.

"He got angry and began hitting me in the face, pushing me, he kicked me in the head then full fist punched me in the face," Munson wrote in her petition for protection.

Munson told police she "was unsure why he was angry" because they were separated when she made the visit, Sullivan wrote.

Pryor had a history of assault charges

On Nov. 1, Munson was granted a protective order that forbid Pryor any contact with her, but his access to guns and knives was not addressed. Court records show the order was served to Pryor on Nov. 8 at 23436 Welty Church Road in Smithsburg, where he had lived with Munson.

It wasn't the first time Pryor faced such charges.

Pryor's history of assault charges dates to at least 1996, when, at age 17, he was arrested for reckless endangerment and assault of a girlfriend. The next day, he escaped from the Washington County Juvenile Holdover facility, the Herald-Mail reported.

In 2001, Pryor was ordered to complete a counseling program for batterers and have no abusive contact with Munson in connection with a second-degree assault charge, court records show.

In that case, Munson said she fell out of a moving car as she tried to break free from Pryor's hold, according to charging documents filed by Sheriff's Department Deputy James R. Grimm.

Munson filed another complaint against Pryor in 2002, and he was charged with malicious destruction of property as a result, court records show. Those charges were dismissed by the State's Attorney's office.

Munson also filed a civil claim against Pryor in 2002, saying she was the victim of domestic violence, records show.

Pryor was found guilty in Washington County District Court that year of a malicious destruction of property charge, according to court records.

He was sentenced to a 60-day suspended jail term. Other charges related to that case were dismissed.

Pryor's criminal record also includes a 1999 plea bargain in which charges of resisting arrest and attempting to flee and elude police were dropped in exchange for guilty pleas to speeding, failure to wear a seat belt and failure to obey a police officer.

In 2004, Prior received probation before judgment after he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in a hate-crime case.

Munson sought fresh start in Halfway

Alison Munson knew few of her neighbors in the Halfway Manor apartment complex. She was described Thursday by her neighbors as quiet and shy, but generous.

Eileen Stone said that Munson talked about trying to "start a new life." Stone said they hadn't gotten into many of the details of Munson's relationship with Pryor.

"We thought we had more time to discuss things," she said.

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