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Tamburo arraigned on prescription fraud charges

September 21, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA. -- A Berkeley Springs man charged in the death of his father was arraigned Monday in Morgan County Circuit Court on prescription fraud charges.  

Stephen J. Tamburo III, 39, of Shanghai Road, was indicted by a Morgan County grand jury last April on 15 counts of prescription fraud between September and December 2008.  

The prescription drugs obtained were Vicodin and Lortab, according to the indictment.

Tamburo's bond was set at $100,000 on the prescription fraud charges, according to Morgan County Prosecutor Debra MH McLaughlin.

Tamburo appeared for the brief hearing in handcuffs, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit.

An arrest warrant charging him with murder in the death of his father, Stephen J. Tamburo Jr., was issued July 27 by Morgan County Magistrate Kermit Ambrose.  

Tamburo was picked up in Miami by U.S. Marshals in late August and extradited to Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg, W.Va., on Sept. 10.  

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He was arraigned on both charges in magistrate court, McLaughlin said.

"While the court imposed a $100,000 bond on the drug charges, he will continue to be held without bond on the murder charge," McLaughlin said. 

"We just don't want him released," said Rosemarie Martin of Westminster, Md., who attended the hearing with her sister, Christina Tamburo Todd. 

Stephen J. Tamburo Jr. was their brother.

"We just want justice," said Todd, of Towson, Md.

Tamburo's trial on the prescription fraud charges is scheduled for Jan. 6.  

His preliminary hearing on the murder charge is Monday at 9:30 a.m. in Morgan County Magistrate Court.

Tamburo is being represented by attorney Francine H. Phillips of the Public Defender Corp. in Martinsburg.

Stephen J. Tamburo Jr. was 62 when he went missing in December.

In April, the body of a white male was discovered in the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management area close to the Morgan County-Berkeley County line.

An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston, W.Va., determined that the unidentified man died about two months before his body was found and that he did not die of natural causes.

In late July, the badly decomposed body was identified as Stephen J. Tamburo Jr. and evidence suggested foul play was involved, according to Dr. James Kaplan of the medical examiner's office.

According to the criminal complaint, Kaplan said three bullets and bullet fragments were recovered from the body.

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