Bail is denied for two held in '82 slaying Essex brothers note their youth at time of crime; 'We was just kids'; 10-year-old boy was found tied to Middle River pier


Two Essex brothers accused of murdering a child 15 years ago pleaded unsuccessfully for bail yesterday, and both mentioned their youth at the time of the killing.

Baltimore County District Judge Alexandra Williams denied bail for Roger Allen Stump, 32, of the first block of Haley Road and John Ellwood Stump, 30, of 622 Dunwich Way. Both were returned to the Baltimore County Detention Center.

The men were arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 10-year-old Adam Edward Faulkner, whose nude, battered body was found tied to his bicycle and a pier piling in the Middle River on July 2, 1982.

"Back then, we was just kids, your honor," Roger Stump said at yesterday's hearing. He came to court in a blue prison uniform and with a black patch over his right eye and spoke while handcuffed to his brother and three other prisoners who were also in court for bail reviews.

"I don't know how it got to this point," he said. "We took a polygraph test to prove our innocence, and they released us. From then until now, people have just been sitting around and getting drunk and saying things. That's why we're here today, from a 'he-said, she-said' thing."

Stump apparently was referring to information in police charging documents.

Unidentified witnesses told officers of hearing the older Stump brag about killing a child he described with a racial epithet, according to the documents. Faulkner was biracial; the Stumps are white.

"Additional witnesses were identified who directly spoke to Roger Stump when he admitted that he was the person responsible for Adam Faulkner's death," the documents say. "Further, John Stump had also boasted that Adam Faulkner was still alive when they tied him to the piling and placed him in the water.

"On September 16, 1997, a witness heard directly from Roger Stump that he had killed [Adam Faulkner]. "To this day, this witness has been bothered by the way Roger Stump and others at the party laughed about this crime."

John Stump, thin and bearded like his brother, was visibly upset during the bail review proceeding. His voice quivered as he spoke to the judge.

"This happened 15 years ago. I was a kid myself," he said. "I don't fully understand why I'm here. I was not there. I just don't understand why I'm here. I've been ripped away from my family. I'm the sole support of my wife and two kids. Without me, they have nothing."

According to the documents read in court, the older Stump runs his own business, Stump Trailer Services, which refurbishes trailers, and received an "other than honorable" discharge from the Marines. Before founding his trailer service, he worked for a carpet company for five years.

He has been convicted of battery, destruction of property and theft, the documents say.

John Stump has been a boat mechanic at Riverside Marina since January, according to the documents. Previously, he had held a similar job at Pasadena Boatel in Anne Arundel County.

He has received probation before judgment twice for driving under the influence.

No date has been set for the Stumps' murder trial.

Pub Date: 9/19/97

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