A Harford County Circuit Court judge has ruled that statements by three defendants and wiretaps of their telephone conversations during a murder and murder conspiracy investigation will be admissible as evidence.
The defendants are Luanna Gill; her mother, Marie Ford; and Ms. Gill's boyfriend, Kenneth Daughton. They are accused of conspiring to murder Ms. Gill's former fiance, Michael Cory Allendorf, 31. Mr. Allendorf's body was found Oct. 29 in front of the residence where he lived with Ms. Gill, 34, and Mrs. Ford, 58, at 419 Enfield Road in Joppatowne.
Sheriff's detectives have said they do not believe any of the three defendants fired the shotgun used to fatally wound Mr. Allendorf. They still seek an unidentified shooter.
In his 48-page written opinion published Monday, Judge Cypert O. Whitfill said evidence collected in February by tapping the telephones of Ms. Gill, Mrs. Ford and Mr. Daughton, 47, who lived in the 2100 block of Laurel Bush Road in Abingdon, was admissible because sheriff's deputies had obtained court approval beforehand, based on sufficient probable cause.
Judge Whitfill also ruled that letters sent in March between the defendants who were, and still are, being held without bond at the Harford County Detention Center on a "no-contact" order were seized legally. He said the defendants knew all mail received by prisoners at the county's jail was inspected by correctional officers, and they had no reasonable expectation of privacy.
Additionally, the judge said statements made to detectives by ,, Ms. Gill and Mrs. Ford during the early stages of the criminal
investigation could not be suppressed because the two were not suspects then and were not under arrest. Their statements, the judge said, were made voluntarily.
The judge also ruled that a notebook and a .22-caliber pistol seized by deputies from Ms. Gill's house were admissible because Ms. Gill gave permission for deputies to search the house.
Judge Whitfill said detectives began to suspect Ms. Gill and Mrs. Ford a few days later, but only after finding discrepancies in the women's statements and learning that Mr. Daughton was Ms. Gill's new boyfriend.
A trial has not been scheduled for the defendants.
In other recent Circuit Court proceedings:
* The state has filed a $25,000 lien, including interest and penalties, against Ronald H. Brodt Sr., 46, a tax protester who is serving 18 months of a 15-year sentence at the Harford County Detention Center after an August 1994 conviction for not paying state income taxes.
The lien, filed in Harford Circuit Court by state tax officials, covers the 1990, 1991 and 1992 tax years.
Harford County prosecutor William Christoforo estimated last year that Brodt owed the state more than $82,000 in taxes dating to 1978. But laws prevented the state from charging the Bel Air insurance salesman with failing to file tax returns before 1990.
Brodt only recently began serving the sentence after his conviction was upheld by the state Court of Special Appeals.
* A jury decided that a Georgia college student, formerly of Edgewood, should receive $227,000 in damages from Dan Wolfe Hanke, after hearing testimony that he had sexually abused and battered her between 1983 and 1986, beginning when she was 9 years old.
The woman, now 20, is not identified to protect her privacy. She underwent extensive psychiatric treatment in 1991 as a result of the abuse, court records show.
Mr. Hanke now lives in Alabama. He formerly worked as a pharmacologist at the Aberdeen Proving Ground and lived in Edgewood, according to court records.
Calculated into the civil jury's award for the two counts -- physical and sexual battery -- was $32,000 for past medical expenses, $20,000 for future treatment, $25,000 for other damages and $150,000 for punitive damages, court records show.