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Hampstead man accused of killing his wife waives preliminary hearing

A 59-year-old Hampstead man accused of killing his wife last month waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Jeffrey McQuay Caples, of the 2600 block of Day Spring Drive, made his first in-person appearance in court since being charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 2 death of Kelly Ann Caples.

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Standing before Judge Erin Danz in Carroll County District Court, Caples did not speak during the proceeding. But through his attorney, assistant public defender J. Lyle Stalter, Caples waived his right to a preliminary, or probable-cause, hearing.

The case is now expected to move to Carroll County Circuit Court. No hearing date has yet been set, according to electronic court records.

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Jeffrey M. Caples
Jeffrey M. Caples

At Caples’ Dec. 3 bail review, Judge Brian Green ordered that he be held without bond based on the facts of the case as presented by the state, including the state’s assertion that Caples admitted to committing the crime.

During that hearing, Trenna Minton, with the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office, argued that Caples be held without bail after describing the crime scene as “gruesome.” Stalter cited Caples’ lack of a criminal record and ties to the community in asking that bail be granted.

According to charging documents, at about 2:47 p.m. on Dec. 2, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputies, officers from the Hampstead Police Department and emergency medical services personnel responded to the residence on Day Spring Drive for the report of an assault with the victim unconscious.

Investigators found the victim at the base of the stairs on the first floor of the two-story residence “in a pool of bright red, liquid blood,” according to charging documents, and found a hammer and what was described as a 7-inch kitchen knife in proximity.

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EMS personnel pronounced Kelly Caples deceased at the scene.

A home in the 2600 block of Day Spring Drive, near Manchester, is pictured. According to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Jeffrey Caples, who resided there, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder. The victim was identified as Kelly Caples, 57, who was married to the suspect and lived at the same address. The crime allegedly occurred at the house.
A home in the 2600 block of Day Spring Drive, near Manchester, is pictured. According to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Jeffrey Caples, who resided there, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder. The victim was identified as Kelly Caples, 57, who was married to the suspect and lived at the same address. The crime allegedly occurred at the house. (Dylan Slagle)

Further investigation revealed that the victim sustained multiple defensive wounds on the fingers of both of her hands and had been “bludgeoned in the forehead (consistent with hammer strikes) which shattered her cranium,” charging documents state. Minton said Dec. 3 the autopsy would determine the number of times Kelly Caples was struck in the head.

The deceased also had puncture wounds to her chest, according to charging documents.

Deputies located Jeffrey Caples on the property reporting that his face was covered with fresh blood spatter and his clothes had “a significant amount” of fresh blood on them, the documents state.

According to the charging documents, Caples stated on an audio/video recording that he hit his wife with the hammer.

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