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Hampstead man charged with murdering his wife deemed competent to stand trial

A Hampstead man charged with first-degree murder has been found competent to stand trial.

The case against Jeffrey McQuay Caples, accused of killing his wife, Kelly Ann Caples, in December, can go forward, Judge Richard Titus ruled at a competency hearing Wednesday afternoon in Carroll County Circuit Court.

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Judge Fred Hecker ordered a competence evaluation of Jeffrey Caples be performed by the Maryland Department of Health during a Jan. 28 hearing. The report was completed by Dr. Robert Katz, a medical examiner. Titus said he read the evaluation before making his ruling Wednesday.

Jeffrey M. Caples
Jeffrey M. Caples

Caples, 59, of the 2600 block of Day Spring Drive, did not speak during the hearing.

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Caples’ defense attorney, Jon Pearson, with the Carroll County Public Defender’s Office, said he will not be challenging the competency ruling at this time.

Ashley Pamer, a special victims unit prosecutor with the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office, declined to comment after the hearing.

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 knife in proximity.

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EMS personnel pronounced Kelly Caples deceased at the scene.

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

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

Caples appeared in court Jan. 6 and waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

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