A 59-year-old Hampstead man accused of bludgeoning and stabbing his wife to death Wednesday was held without bail Thursday after allegedly confessing.
Jeffrey McQuay Caples, of the 2600 block of Day Spring Drive, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder, according to charging documents and a news release from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
Police identified the victim as Kelly Ann Caples, 57, who was married to the suspect and lived at the same address.
At the bail review Thursday, Carroll County District Judge Brian Green scheduled a probable-cause hearing, also known as a preliminary hearing, for Jan. 6.
Trenna Minton, with the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office, argued that Caples be held without bail.
Caples was represented by J. Lyle Stalter, with the public defender’s office. He cited Caples’ lack of a criminal record and ties to the community in asking that bail be granted.
Both attorneys addressed the court via speakerphone. Caples appeared via teleconference from the Carroll County Detention Center, where he is being held. He was silent throughout, other than stating his name.
Green ruled that the accused 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.
Minton, who called the scene “gruesome,” said during the hearing that Kelly Caples had been discovered by her son, described as in his 20s.
According to charging documents, about 2:47 p.m. Wednesday, 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 close proximity.
EMS personnel pronounced Kelly Caples deceased at the scene.
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 Thursday 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 a male on the property whose face was covered with fresh blood spatter and whose clothes had “a significant amount” of fresh blood on them, the documents state. He was identified as Jeffrey Caples, was arrested and taken into custody.
According to the charging documents, Caples states on an audio/video recording that he hit his wife with the hammer.
The home on Day Spring Drive, near Manchester, is tucked away up a gravel driveway with few neighbors on the same street and homes spread out from one another. One of the neighbors, Laura Halsey, said Thursday morning she saw an ambulance outside Wednesday but did not know what happened.
She said in an interview she did not know Jeffrey and Kelly Caples well and spoke to Kelly once through instant messaging.
Hogan Allen, who lives off of Harvey Gummel Road and across the street from Day Spring Drive, described the area as “very, very quiet and peaceful” and “secluded.” He said he has heard people hunting because it’s deer season but not much else.
“We just don’t have those kind of things happen,” he said.
Cpl. James Smith, with Maryland State Police, who lives about half a mile up the street, also said the area was quiet.
“I [have] had no issues here at all,” he said.
Smith, who said he has lived in his home for 16 years, said he used to patrol all over Carroll County and said Hampstead is “probably the best.”
He said Thursday morning he was unaware of any police activity but noted he doesn’t hear about as much now that he works behind a desk.
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The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Jason Ehrhart at 410-386-2499 or firstname.lastname@example.org.