Man indicted in Dual Highway slaying

June 28, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION |

HAGERSTOWN — A Washington County grand jury Tuesday indicted a 43-year-old Berkeley Springs, W.Va., man on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and 12 other counts in the shooting death of Heather Harris in her Dual Highway home on June 10, according to court records.

The Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office presented the case against Randy Houston McPeak to the grand jury on Tuesday. County Circuit Court officials received the indictment later in the day, according to court officials and Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael.     

McPeak has been scheduled for his first appearance in Washington County Circuit Court on July 14 at 9:30 a.m., court officials said.

McPeak was also indicted on charges of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, carrying and transporting a handgun, wearing, carrying and knowingly transporting a handgun in a vehicle, using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, unlawfully and intentionally detaining Harris, two counts of failing to comply with a peace order, stalking, harassment and telephone harassment, according to court records.

The maximum penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison, and the maximum penalty for second-degree murder is 30 years in prison, Michael said.

A trial date for McPeak will be set within 180 days of his first appearance in court, or when an attorney gives notice he will be representing McPeak, Michael said Tuesday.
McPeak is currently being held without bail at the Washington County Detention Center, a jail spokeswoman said.
Harris, 37, died June 15 at Meritus Medical Center after being shot twice in the head.

 On June 10, McPeak, a utilities construction inspector for Washington County, called a friend and told her he had killed Harris, according to allegations in a statement of probable cause.
The friend later went to Harris' house, found McPeak there and called police, the charging documents said. A standoff with police began at about 3 p.m. and ended with McPeak's surrender at 10 p.m., the documents said.
The county's Special Response Team was able to get the wounded Harris out of her house at about 7:30 p.m. as McPeak, armed with a small handgun, was isolated outside in an alcove at the front entrance at 1606 Dual Highway.
Harris had been granted a peace order against McPeak days before the shooting. In her application, she wrote that McPeak had been following her to and from the hair salon where she worked in Frederick, entered her house without permission and confronted her boyfriend.

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