Columbia man convicted of assault in trailer shooting; Attempted murder counts are dismissed by judge


A 28-year-old Columbia man was convicted yesterday on assault charges in the shooting of two people in a North Laurel mobile home last year.

Darrin B. Ridgeway faced charges of attempted murder in the shooting in the first block of Cross St.

Three shotgun blasts penetrated the mobile home and hit a man and woman while they slept. The shots missed three young girls sleeping in another bedroom.

The man and woman were taken to a hospital, treated and released.

Prosecutor I. Matthew Campbell said Ridgeway fired at the mobile home in retaliation for being assaulted by three men. Ridgeway believed that those three men often visited the mobile home. However, those men were not there when the shooting occurred July 22, 1998, authorities said.

Defense attorney Mark Van Bavel argued that authorities couldn't link Ridgeway to the crime and that jurors couldn't trust the prosecution's witnesses.

Ridgeway had been charged with attempted murder, but Howard County Circuit Judge James B. Dudley dismissed those charges yesterday.

Ridgeway also was convicted on charges of reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property after the two-day trial. He was acquitted by a jury on assault charges involving the three girls.

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