Western Md. drowning is ruled a homicide
Maryland State Police say an autopsy has determined that a man's drowning in a Western Maryland river in August was a homicide. Spokesman Greg Shipley says investigators have been told that Derek Bittinger, 36, of Friendsville was pushed into the Youghiogheny River on Aug. 6 after spending the previous night with at least six others at a remote campsite. Shipley says witnesses also have told investigators that Bittinger came out of the water but then went back in on his own. No arrests have been made, and police are continuing their investigation.
Man testifies against brother in murder case
A man charged with accessory after-the-fact in one of his brother's two Howard County murder cases testified against his brother yesterday in exchange for the charge to be dropped. William Richardson, 23, told jurors yesterday that his brother, Charles David Richardson IV, admitted to him that he shot a 7-Eleven clerk during a botched robbery attempt in Columbia in August 2007. William Richardson said his brother also asked him to stow the weapon in a floor vent after the shooting, but he refused. Charles Richardson is charged with first-degree murder in the 7-Eleven case. He was convicted of first-degree murder earlier this month, after shooting an acquaintance in the face. William Richardson had been charged with accessory after-the-fact in that case. Other testimony yesterday included a woman who said she overheard Charles Richardson during a telephone conversation on a bus say he shot the woman because she would not give him money. Attorneys finished presenting witnesses and testimony yesterday and are expected to present closing arguments today.
One killed, two injured in Glen Arm car accident
One person was killed and two others were injured after two vehicles collided last night on a road in Glen Arm, Baltimore County police said. Their names were being withheld pending notification of family members. Police said the accident was reported shortly before 11 p.m. in the 11600 block of Glen Arm Road near Villa Maria Road and that one of the vehicles overturned, trapping at least one of its two occupants. One person in the overturned vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene and the other occupant was flown by a state police helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said. The occupant of the other vehicle was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. The county police crash team is investigating the accident. Not including last night's accident, state police said that as of yesterday, 439 people had died on the state's roadways this year, compared to 441 for the same period of time last year.
Man accused of breaking down ex-wife's door
A man broke down the door to his ex-wife's home with a sledge hammer and burst into a bedroom where she and their children were hiding early yesterday morning, Annapolis police said. Just after 4 a.m., the man cut the phone lines to the house, took a sledge hammer from a back shed and hacked open the front door to the house in the 400 block of Riding Ridge Road, police said. After he broke down the bedroom door, he rushed to the two children and embraced them "in what did not appear to be a threatening way," said police spokesman Officer Hal Dalton. The woman escaped and fled to a neighbor's house to call police. Officers arrested Tracy A. Chandler, 45, of the 700 block of Americana Drive, and charged him with burglary, assault and other lesser offenses, police said. He was being held at the county detention center in lieu of $100,000 bond. Officers had warned the man to stay away from the house a few hours earlier when they found him lurking on the property, police said.
Police officer's vehicle rammed into barrier
TEMPLE HILLS: Prince George's County police say an officer fired at a man who repeatedly rammed his sports utility vehicle into her cruiser. The man was not hit. It happened about 4:40 p.m. yesterday on South Anvil Lane in Temple Hills. Cpl. Clinton Copeland says the officer was sitting in her cruiser when the SUV started ramming the car. He says the SUV pushed the cruiser into a barrier and continued to ram it. That's when Copeland says the officer, fearing for her safety, fired her weapon. The driver was not hit, but he was apprehended. Copeland says it appears he was under the influence of some drug and charges are pending. Copeland says the officer received minor injuries to her face.