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Man, woman charged in Hancock motel standoff each request jury trial

October 15, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A man who engaged police in a 45-hour standoff at a Hancock motel in August requested Tuesday morning in Washington County District Court that his case be forwarded to circuit court for a jury trial.

James A. Prevatt is charged with threatening arson by use of an explosive device and other crimes in connection with the Hancock incident, during which he told police he would kill a hostage.

Police have said that Prevatt's girlfriend, 21-year-old Rene Reynolds, was "complicit" during the hostage situation, depicting herself as a hostage. She also on Tuesday requested a jury trial.

Both are from Moncks Corners, S.C., but Prevatt has lived in Hagerstown.

Following a brief hearing, Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael spoke with witnesses involved in the case.

Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department have an open investigation involving Prevatt and Reynolds in connection with a series of crimes in Western Maryland, Michael said.

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Prevatt already faces additional criminal charges related to a 2000 burglary in Hagerstown. Following a September hearing, Washington County District Judge Mark Thomas forwarded that case to Washington County Circuit Court.

Reynolds told police she was not a victim of kidnapping and wasn't held hostage. She helped tie a sheet around her mouth, and she held her hands behind her back to appear "bound" to negotiators during the standoff, Washington County District Court documents allege.

Reynolds was pregnant during the standoff, due to deliver Sept. 1. On Tuesday morning, Prevatt's parents held a baby as they spoke with their son's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden.

Creeden could be heard saying Prevatt has been cooperating with investigators in connection with other investigations, and that Prevatt needs to undergo a psychological evaluation.

Reynolds was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit a threat of arson by use of an explosive device. She and Prevatt each were charged with two counts of possession of controlled dangerous substances. Police identified the substances as suspected marijuana and MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Reynolds also was charged with theft of more than $500, which is a felony.

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