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Md. state police sergeant, ex-girlfriend file complaints against each other

August 23, 2010|By DON AINES

A Maryland State Police sergeant and a former girlfriend have filed criminal complaints against one another -- she claiming he pointed a gun at her earlier this month and he alleging she trespassed on his property.

On Aug. 8, Sarah E. Britton sought charges of first- and second-degree assault against Sgt. Timothy J. McKenrick in an Aug. 6 incident, Washington County District Court records show. On Aug. 18, McKenrick filed a complaint seeking to charge Britton with third- and fourth-degree burglary, trespassing and second-degree assault, court records show.

"Anybody, at any time, can seek charges against anyone, and there doesn't have to be an ounce of corroboration," said McKenrick's attorney, Benson D. Thompson III. "The accusations leveled against Sgt. McKenrick are false."

District Court records did not list an attorney for Britton.

McKenrick, 45, a 22-year veteran of the state police, was suspended without pay pending a resolution of the charges, state police spokesman Gregory M. Shipley said Monday. A preliminary hearing for McKenrick is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 30, court records show.

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No preliminary hearing date was available Monday for Britton.

In his handwritten complaint, McKenrick stated he broke off a relationship with Britton in July, when she accused him of trying to "re-establish a relationship with an ex-girlfriend from 28 years ago," according to the application for statement of charges. Britton was staying in McKenrick's home and he agreed to give her until Aug. 11 to move out "as long as there were no problems, drama or arguments," his statement said.

Britton, 29, wrote in her application for statement of charges that they "broke up on friendly terms. We agreed that 30 days would be sufficient for me to find a new place." Britton wrote that she stayed in a spare bedroom and was "a 'mouse' in the house," until Aug. 5, according to her statement.

That day, Britton and McKenrick argued when he noted the date for her to move was less than a week away, he wrote in his application for statement of charges. McKenrick called the barrack, and a corporal came to his house, his application said.

Britton wrote that the argument was over a conversation she had with a friend that caused McKenrick "to hit the roof," her application said. McKenrick told Britton to leave or he would "call the barracks to have me removed," her application said.

Britton insisted she was staying until Aug. 11 and, while the corporal was present, McKenrick told her she was subject to arrest if she did not leave, both their applications said. McKenrick told her not to return until they made arrangements, but at 1:25 a.m. on Aug. 6, he saw her drive by his home and attempted to video tape her, his application said.

"Nice drive by it was recorded," McKenrick texted Britton, both applications said. She responded with a text stating she was coming to the house, both applications said.

McKenrick was upstairs when he heard a door open and Britton call his name, his application said. Britton did not have a key to the door she used, but he heard her "pop the lock" before she left earlier, his application said.

He started downstairs but, not knowing if she was armed or with someone, went back upstairs warning her "that I was getting my gun and that you don't want to get shot," his application said.

"I kept the gun at a low ready position towards the floor and again ordered her to leave," but Britton refused, his application said. McKenrick wrote in the application that he secured his weapon upstairs and called the barrack to report she had returned.

McKenrick tried to physically force her from the house and she fled when he told her police were on the way, his application said.

Britton wrote in her application that McKenrick came downstairs and then went upstairs, telling her, "I'm getting my gun and I'm going to shoot you." McKenrick pointed the gun at her hip and told her, "Get out or I'll shoot you," her application alleged.

Britton wrote in her application that McKenrick "pushed, shoved and manhandled me out of his house." The application said she called a friend with her cell phone at one point in the confrontation and it went to voicemail, recording part of the conversation.

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