Carroll County Times

Carroll jury finds Taneytown man guilty of assault, not attempted murder, in February shooting

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A Taneytown man was found not guilty Thursday of attempted second-degree murder in a February shooting at his East Baltimore Street home.

A Carroll County jury did find Michael Joiner, 37, guilty of two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence and two counts of reckless endangerment of minor children, according to a news release from the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office.


Joiner is being held without bail in the Carroll County Detention Center, pending sentencing. Judge Fred Hecker ordered a presentence investigation and schedule sentencing for Nov. 8, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

Joiner’s jury trial began Monday in Carroll County Circuit Court and ended Thursday.


The prosecution had charged Joiner with attempted second-degree murder in the nonfatal shooting of Ted Rill, also of Taneytown, following an argument Feb. 10 about construction equipment.

The shooting happened near two schools and occurred shortly after Northwest Middle School had dismissed students for the day, according to Deputy State’s Attorney Sandra L. Johnson.

Johnson said the confrontation was sparked by an argument about a stolen tamper, a tool with a long handle and a heavy, square base used for leveling and firmly packing materials such as dirt, clay, sand and gravel.

The state’s attorney’s news release said video evidence showed that the tamper was stolen from Rill Construction Services in Taneytown and taken to Joiner’s garage on Jan. 30. Joiner contacted the Rill family and offered to give the tamper back on Feb. 10 in exchange for $1,000. Ted and Lester Rill agreed to pay Joiner $500 for the tamper and pick it up that day, but when they arrived, Joiner and his fiancé, Kristen Naill, approached the Rills with guns drawn, according to the news release.

Joiner’s attorney, Thomas Edward Hickman, told the jury that Joiner was approached by Rill Construction asking if he wanted a tamper, and that Joiner paid $500 for the equipment. Joiner later learned the tamper “might” be stolen, Hickman said, and when Ted and Lester Rill showed up asking for the tamper on Feb. 10, Joiner asked for his money back.

The Rills went back and forth to the Joiner property and “there was a series of phone calls between Rill and Joiner,” said Hickman, which included threats to Joiner and his children. Hickman said Joiner told Naill to get his guns and to stay in the house with the children.

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Video surveillance showed a struggle during which Ted Rill was shot twice and Joiner once, the news release stated. Both men were taken to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center for treatment.

Naill, 34, has been charged separately in the shooting, and faces trial on two counts of assault in the first degree, one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence and four counts of reckless endangerment. Her trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 29, according to court documents.


The news release said that the Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network provided video enhancement services to assist in the prosecution of the case.

Carroll County State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker said it was “a miracle” that no one was killed during the shooting and said it was “troubling” that it happened so close to the middle school.

“Students from the nearby middle school can be seen walking by in the video of [the] incident,” Shoemaker said, adding that “Wild West shootouts, especially around our schools, will not be tolerated in Carroll County.”