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BREAKINGNEWS
By DAVE MCMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com | March 6, 2011
The death of a Hispanic male who was found on a set of steps leading to an apartment along U.S. 11 in the Pikeside area Sunday morning is being investigated as a homicide, according to a spokesman for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department. The victim’s name was not being released Sunday night because family members of the man had not been found, Gary Harmison said. Deputies responded to the scene at about 6 a.m. Sunday after a neighbor noticed the victim lying outside the residence at Sunset Apartments south of Martinsburg, Harmison said.
NEWS
December 12, 2011
A state prison inmate who died last week after being found unresponsive in his cell at North Branch Correctional Institution died from strangulation, Maryland State Police said in a press release Monday. Lewis J. Thompson Jr., 57, was found unresponsive in his cell at the maximum-security prison in Allegany County by correctional officers on Dec. 8. His death has been ruled a homicide. An autopsy was conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore. The investigation into Thompson's death is being conducted by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit.
NEWS
March 29, 2011
A preliminary hearing Tuesday for a man charged with homicide by vehicle in the death of a Waynesboro, Pa., mother of nine was postponed, his attorney said Tuesday. Eric J. Weisbrod, the attorney for David Michael Szumigala, said the decision to postpone the hearing was “done by agreement” with Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal. A new preliminary hearing date has not been set, according to Weisbrod. Szumigala, 20, of Ocean Springs, Miss., has been charged with 18 criminal counts, including homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter, and driving without a license.
NEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | May 19, 2011
Thirty years after the murder of Debra Ray Witmer, the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office is establishing a hotline in an effort to get new information about the unsolved homicide. The St. Thomas, Pa., woman was last seen alive on May 27, 1981, said James Brown, the chief detective for the district attorney’s office. District Attorney Matthew Fogal has established the toll-free hotline in the hope that someone will provide information leading to a break in the case, Brown said.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | June 6, 2010
GERRARDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Two bodies were found inside a home off Sam Mason Road in southern Berkeley County, W.Va., on Sunday morning as firefighters brought a fire under control, Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster said. The West Virginia Medical Examiner's office will perform autopsies today to confirm the identities of the victims -- one adult and one child -- and establish their causes of death, Lemaster said. The sheriff said information gathered through an investigation led authorities to obtain an arrest warrant charging 34-year-old Antonio Prophet with homicide.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | July 2, 2012
Court dates have been scheduled for a Waynesboro, Pa., man charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, but they could be changed if he accepts a plea agreement on the table. Shawn Tyler Lacasse, 27, appeared before Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas Judge Richard Walsh on Monday for a status conference. Lacasse has been charged with homicide by vehicle, racing on highways and speeding related to a Feb. 12, 2011, crash that killed two people - one of whom was Amy Hummer, his 25-year-old fiancée.
NEWS
December 7, 2000
Police investigating homicide CLEAR SPRING - A dead body lying in a pool of blood was found in a National Pike home west of Clear Spring Thursday evening, according to Maryland State Police Cpl. G.E. Spickler. He said the death was being investigated as a homicide. State police were called to the home between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and were still on the scene after 10 p.m., said Spickler. A Washington County Emergency Services dispatcher said a person who was highly upset called for help at 7:07 p.m., a dispatcher said.
NEWS
February 6, 1997
McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - McConnellsburg State Police said Wednesday night officers were investigating a homicide. Fulton County Coroner Denny Buterbaugh confirmed Wednesday night that a body was found. Former Coroner Russell McLucas, who advised Buterbaugh, said it appears the cause of death was due to a bullet wound. An autopsy was scheduled for this morning, Buterbaugh said. No other details were available at press time.
NEWS
by DON AINES | May 5, 2003
chambersburg@herald-mail.com CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Two pending homicide cases in Franklin County Court were granted continuances last week, another is likely to be continued and prosecutors took steps to seek the death penalty in a fourth. Bruce Bernard Forsythe Sr., 53, of 6283 Molly Pitcher Highway, Marion, was arraigned last Wednesday on a charge of first-degree homicide in the Nov. 24 shooting death of his estranged wife, 32-year-old Joanna Plummer. He entered a written plea of not guilty and his case was scheduled for the July trial term.
NEWS
By PEPPER BALLARD | May 23, 2004
WASHINGTON COUNTY A romantic night on the banks of the Potomac River turned deadly for Goldie Elizabeth Fritz in March 1979. The 20-year-old woman and her boyfriend allegedly were forced by a gunman to the river's edge near Hancock. Although her boyfriend managed to swim to the West Virginia shore, Fritz drowned in its murky waters. No one knows who killed her. Just about a month ago, Maryland State Police Cold Case Investigator Sgt. John Cook picked up the unsolved homicide file and decided it was worth re-examining.
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NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | September 10, 2013
A Waynesboro, Pa., man accused of hitting a woman with his car and killing her in August waived his preliminary hearing on Tuesday. Benjamin Rodger Savage, 31, remains incarcerated in the Franklin County (Pa.) Jail. He was transported to the county courthouse Tuesday, where he met privately with a public defender and chose to waive the preliminary hearing before appearing before a judge. His case will be scheduled for mandatory arraignment. Waynesboro police charged Savage with homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death or personal injury, involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving.
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NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | August 1, 2013
DNA test results link Roy L. Wisotzkey to the May 2011 homicide of Vickie Clem, jurors were told Thursday at the Hagerstown man's trial in Berkeley County Circuit Court. Wisotzkey, 35, and Clem's son, Joshua Stitley, 34, of Hancock were indicted in October 2011 on a host of charges in connection with Clem's death, and the stabbing and beating of her husband, Jack Clem, at their home in the Potomac Heights subdivision of Falling Waters, W.Va. The counts against the men include murder, felony murder, attempted murder, malicious assault, burglary, conspiracy, two counts of assault during the commission of a felony and two counts of first-degree robbery, according to the indictments.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | June 26, 2013
The first of two trials for a former State Line, Pa., man charged with criminal homicide has been delayed. The defense team for Jeffrey E. Miles Sr., 50, recently asked for and received a continuance in his capital murder trial for the April 2010 stabbing death of a Hagerstown woman, Kristy Dawn Hoke. Miles also faces a trial in a separate case. Authorities found the body of Hoke, 29, in a wooded section of the borough of Waynesboro, Pa., just days after her family reported the mother of three missing.
BREAKINGNEWS
By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com | May 10, 2013
A Waynesboro, Pa., man pleaded guilty Friday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to three counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 shootings of his estranged wife, her boyfriend and the boyfriend's mother, and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole. Kevin Mathew Cleeves, 36, formerly of 601 W. Main St., pleaded guilty to the July 27, 2012, shooting deaths of his estranged wife, Brandi N. Killingsworth Cleeves, 25, in the driveway of her boyfriend's home on Pa. 997. In the same incident, he shot and killed Brandi Cleeves' boyfriend, Vincent Luke Santucci Jr., 28; and Santucci's mother, Rosemary Holma, 55. The three-hour sentencing hearing took place amid tight security, with a half dozen or more uniformed deputies in the courtroom at any one time.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | April 23, 2013
With the specter of criminal activity in their neighborhood, several residents who live on Randolph Avenue in Hagerstown said they weren't surprised that a man was fatally shot in his apartment over the weekend. Stacey Benedict, of 106 Randolph Ave., said Monday she heard the gunshot that claimed the life of 26-year-old Steven Andrew O'Brien on Saturday night. “I knew it wasn't good,” she said of hearing the shot. “I'll never forget that noise.” Benedict said she walked upstairs to O'Brien's apartment and knocked on the door after she heard the shot.
NEWS
April 9, 2013
A Hagerstown man is facing multiple criminal charges, including attempted criminal homicide and rape, after allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend in the Borough of Waynesboro home March 16. Charmar Desmond Drake, 23, of 425 Summit Ave., remains incarcerated in the Franklin County (Pa.) Jail, according to online court records. Waynesboro police allege Drake punched and strangled the woman, then threw nail polish remover on her face, hair and clothes while flicking a lighter and saying he was going to burn her. Drake forced the woman to have sexual intercourse, police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | March 27, 2013
Maryland State Police have released the name of an inmate who died after a correctional officer discovered him bleeding Tuesday night at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown. Deavel M. Johnson, 22, was noticed standing near a bunk bed with blood on him at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday during a head count in a dormitory unit at the prison, according to a state police news release. Troopers said correctional officers gave Johnson first aid after he collapsed and took him to the MCI-H dispensary.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com | February 28, 2013
The trial for two men charged in the May 2011 death of the mother of one of the men was postponed again Thursday to allow more time for evidence to be reviewed in the case. The trial for Joshua L. Stitley, 34, of Hancock, and Roy L. Wisotzkey, 35, of Hagerstown, was rescheduled for July 30 by presiding 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher C. Wilkes.   Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely told Wilkes on Thursday that she did not object to the defense motion.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | January 31, 2013
A man arrested last year by the U.S. Marshals Service is facing extradition to Puerto Rico, but not on the homicide warrant on which he was apprehended. Carlos Baez-Quinonez, who was 24 when arrested in May 2012, appeared in the Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas on Thursday before Senior Judge John Walker. Walker ordered Baez-Quinonez be extradited to Puerto Rico on a parole violation warrant issued by that commonwealth. He said the defendant has 30 days to appeal his ruling.
NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | January 24, 2013
The defense team working for a Pennsylvania man charged in two homicides is investigating evidence of possible mental illnesses, developmental delays, head injuries and substance abuse addiction to use at trial. Because of that work, attorneys for Jeffrey E. Miles Sr. asked for and received a delayed start to his first trial. Jury selection was scheduled for Feb. 4. “It is clear that effective representation of Mr. Miles will require additional months of investigation and litigation,” Miles' court-appointed attorneys wrote in a defense motion filed Jan. 17. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the April 2010 stabbing death of 29-year-old Kristy Dawn Hoke, of Hagerstown.
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