Grand jury indicts Canadians for battle with state troopers


ANNAPOLIS -- An Anne Arundel County grand jury yesterday indicted the two hitchhiking Canadian fugitives who allegedly fired on state troopers along U.S. 50 last month.

The 23-member panel returned identical 15-count indictments that included assault and conspiracy charges against Eric W. Schumacher and Donald R. Nelson, both privates absent without leave from the Canadian army.

The two men face possible life terms in prison if convicted on charges of assault with intent to murder, conspiracy, handgun violations and related offenses, said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee.

The charges stem from the shoot-out with Troopers Kimberly Brooks and Kimberly Bowman that took place the evening of June 6 near U.S. 50's Davidsonville Road exit about eight miles west of Annapolis.

Neither officer was injured in the shooting, although one bullet tore through the left side of Trooper Bowman's shirt and grazed her gun belt before lodging in her leather handcuff case. The incident led to a massive two-day manhunt through the heavily wooded area.

Mr. Nelson, 20, who was shot in the knee by one of the troopers, was arrested by police the following morning along the highway. Mr. Schumacher, 21, was captured one day later by an off-duty police officer.

Both men are wanted in Canada for the May 30 shooting of a Toronto constable. They are currently being held in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on $350,000 bail each.

Mr. Weathersbee said the two defendants will likely be tried in Maryland before being returned to Canada. He hopes to set an early trial date.

Anne Arundel County Public Defender Allan R. Friedman, who is representing Mr. Nelson, said the indictments were not unexpected. He said his client was "severely over-charged" but declined to give specifics.

"When the time comes, we'll have a lot to say about what happened out there," Mr. Friedman said.

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