Woman competent to stand trial Suspect charged in fatal shooting


A 29-year-old woman, charged with fatally shooting a woman she suspected of child abuse, was found competent to stand trial yesterday by a Circuit Court judge.

Arletta Mary Moore, of Glen Burnie, is scheduled to stand trial Tuesday charged with first-degree murder in the May shooting death of Dawn Renee Meyers, 31, of Ferndale.

Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. found Ms. Moore competent after a brief hearing yesterday.

At 12:30 p.m. May 31, Ms. Moore walked into the Millersville Inn in the 8400 block of Veterans Highway, across the street from county police headquarters. According to court records, she confronted Ms. Meyers, pulled a .38-caliber handgun from her purse and fired four shots from about 10 feet away, two of which struck Ms. Meyers.

Ms. Moore then walked out of the restaurant, laid the gun on the parking lot and walked north on Veterans Highway, where officers picked her up a short time later.

Police said Ms. Moore told them she had just "killed a snake," and that she felt as if she had killed off the four people in her life who had abused her. Ms. Meyers died about three hours later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The alleged child abuse involved a 6-year-old son of one of Ms. Moore's friends, who now lives in Crofton.

According to court records, Ms. Moore had been undergoing psychiatric treatment. She was unemployed and living alone in a boarding house on the 300 block of Rose Ave. at the time of the shooting.

Assistant Public Defender Robert H. Waldman filed motions seeking Department of Social Service records for Ms. Moore, saying in the request that she was "profoundly abused" as a child.

In the hearing yesterday, Ms. Moore said she was abandoned by her father and molested by a stepfather. She said her mother has been diagnosed as schizophrenic.

Ms. Moore, who has been diagnosed as retarded, has been treated in Crownsville and Spring Grove state hospitals and lived at the Omni House in Glen Burnie, an outpatient program that provides housing and care for the mentally handicapped.

She is being held at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital because a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation determined that she is suicidal, Mr. Waldman said.

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