A Virginia rock climber was arrested on Jan. 8 after police accused him of killing a friend by striking him in the head with a claw hammer at a Maryland park in late December.
David DiPaolo, 31, of Bristow, Va. faces a manslaughter charge in connection with the death of Geoffrey Farrar, 69, of Arlington, Va.
U.S. Park Police said Farrar was found suffering major head trauma at around 2 p.m. Dec. 28 near a Potomac River tributary at the base of a rock face at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park in Bethesda. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died.
Park police said witnesses reported seeing DiPaolo arguing with Farrar before the latter was discovered.
New York State Police brought DiPaolo into a satellite station near Glens Falls, N.Y. last Wednesday after a traffic stop. According to charging documents, DiPaolo waived his Miranda rights and told Park police officers who had been brought to the station that he hit the victim with the claw hammer because Farrar had started choking him.
Park police said DiPaolo did not have a response when they questioned his account by asking why Farrar had wounds from the claw hammer on his hands, suggesting that DiPaolo had hit his own neck.