Death penalty to be sought Wolf murder defendant faces April trial.


Maryland prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for one of two New York men who are charged with the murder nearly a year ago of Maryland State Police Cpl. Theodore D. Wolf.

William R. Hymes, Howard County state's attorney, said officials filed the action against Eric Tirado today in the county's Circuit Court.

Tirado, 27, is charged with first-degree murder, robbery and weapons offenses in the death of Wolf, 40, who was slain last March 29 in his police cruiser on Interstate 95 in Jessup.

Tirado's trial is set for April 17.

A Howard County grand jury last year indicted Tirado, 27, and Francisco Rodriguez, 20, both of the Bronx, on murder, robbery and weapons charges while they were incarcerated in New York for assault and weapons violations. Wolf was killed when the men were free while awaiting sentencing.

Tirado has been held at the Howard County Detention Center since a Dec. 11 arraignment.

Rodriguez is being held in Virginia by federal authorities on unrelated drug charges.

Hymes would not say whether the state would seek the death penalty for Rodriguez. His trial has not been scheduled.

Under Maryland law, the death penalty can be imposed only on those directly responsible for a victim's death. Today's action confirms that police believe Tirado shot Wolf, but prosecutors would not rule out the possibility that Rodriguez was directly involved.

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