Grand jury indicts Pryor in Nicholson's death

No information available on indictment related to Munson's death

No information available on indictment related to Munson's death

February 13, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Indictments were handed up Tuesday against Douglas Wayne Pryor, who was charged in December in the stabbing death of his former girlfriend and in the fatal shooting of a Smithsburg police officer.

Prosecutors sought an indictment for a number of reasons, Deputy State's Attorney Steven Kessell said Tuesday afternoon.

A Washington County District Court Commissioner charged Pryor with second-degree murder in the death of Alison Munson, 31, of Halfway. Prosecutors wanted the grand jury to consider whether a first-degree murder charge was appropriate, Kessell said.

No information about the indictment related to Munson's death was available Tuesday.

The grand jury handed up a five-count indictment charging Pryor with first-degree murder and other crimes in Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Shane Nicholson's death.

Pryor also was indicted for second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and second-degree assault of a police officer.

Pryor was taken into custody after he was shot in an exchange of gunfire with Washington County Special Response Team members, according to reports.


Police got a call at about 9:30 p.m. Dec. 19, 2007, that Pryor had harmed the mother of his children at her Halfway residence and was possibly headed to the Smithsburg area, where he lived.

When deputies arrived at the Halfway apartment, they found Munson dead.

Her body was found in a closet of her Halfway apartment, police said. A blanket and a trash can covered her body and a hand-written note, the contents of which Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore has declined to release, was left on top of her body.

Deputies en route to the area of Pryor's house on Welty Church Road asked the Smithsburg Police Department for assistance.

Nicholson, the only Smithsburg Police officer on duty, was waiting for backup in a driveway off Welty Church Road when he was confronted by Pryor and shot, Mullendore said.

When deputies arrived, they found Nicholson lying near his police cruiser in the middle of a field off of Welty Church Road, Mullendore said.

Nicholson was later pronounced dead.

As of last week, Pryor remained in the custody of the Division of Correction at the request of Washington County, a prisons spokeswoman said Tuesday evening.

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