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Prosecutors claim new DNA evidence boosts case against husband in 2006 death of Perry Hall woman

Nearly 12 years ago, Roxanne Amick left the house she shared with her husband in Perry Hall and went shopping. Two days later her body was found in a wooded area about four miles away and an autopsy determined she had been killed by blunt-force trauma.

For a decade no one was charged in Amick's death, and her husband, Michael Amick, eventually moved to Hilo, Hawaii.

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This week he's back in Baltimore County — on trial for his wife's murder.

Amick, 57, was charged in 2016 after police said they recovered evidence made available through advances in DNA technology. The trial is continuing this week at the Baltimore County Circuit courthouse in Towson.

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Ten years after he reported his wife missing, a man who used to live in Parkville has been charged with murder in her death.

"DNA — we weren't where we are today," Assistant State's Attorney Lauren A. Stone told jurors Tuesday morning.

Stone said advances in DNA analysis led Baltimore County police to retest a pair of work gloves found in the couple's minivan parked at a Perry Hall shopping center, hours after Roxanne Amick was reported missing.

The gloves had Michael Amick's DNA on the inside and likely Roxanne Amick's DNA on the outside, Stone said — details she said could not have been determined a decade ago. Prosecutors are alleging that the discovery links Michael Amick to her disappearance.

But Amick's defense attorney said DNA advances or not, the new evidence doesn't further the state's case.

"It really is meaningless," said the attorney, Joseph Murtha.

He said it wouldn't be unusual for police to find both his client's and Roxanne Amick's DNA on gloves inside a van they both used.

"There is absolutely zero evidence that Michael Amick killed Roxanne Amick," Murtha said.

Baltimore County police are looking to identify two suspects who they say are involved in an organized shoplifting crew that has stolen more than $100,000 worth of tools from home improvement stores.

Stone told jurors the state believes the Amicks got into an argument the morning of Sept. 13, 2006. She noted that Amick waited until the next day to report that his wife went missing, and said that records show he did not call her cellphone — or his own cellphone, which was inside their minivan.

Her body was found a day after she was reported missing, on Sept.15, 2006. It was wrapped in blankets from the family's home in a wooded area, Stone said.

An autopsy indicated Roxanne Amick's neck was fractured, which caused her to stop breathing and caused her death, Stone said. She was found fully clothed and there was no evidence she was sexually assaulted or robbed; her wallet was located with cash still in it, Stone said.

"Mothers do not walk out on their family. They do not simply vanish into thin air," Stone told jurors. "Roxanne Amick was made to disappear. She was made to disappear by her husband, Michael Amick."

Murtha argued the state has no evidence of a struggle at the couple's home, such a holes in the wall or broken furniture. Police also did not recover any weapon to inflict the wounds, he said.

"What you have heard from the state is a theory; a theory of what they believe actually happened," he said.

The Baltimore County Council on Monday approved an animal welfare law named in honor of a deceased Arbutus dog named Oscar.

Murtha said his client will testify during the trial. He described Amick as a caring father who never physically abused his wife and expressed concern over her death.

"You're going to see a man who is emotional, who cries when his wife's body is discovered," he said.

Murtha contended that interview tapes with detectives show that from the very beginning, police targeted Michael Amick as his wife's killer. He claimed detectives failed to investigate other possibilities.

"The police have reached a conclusion," he said. "There was contempt from Michael Amick from the beginning."

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