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B.G. “Hoppy” Ledford of Essex was found dead on Dec. 30.
B.G. “Hoppy” Ledford of Essex was found dead on Dec. 30. (Photo courtesy of the family)

B.G. "Hoppy" Ledford didn't hesitate to help those in need — including one of the people now charged in the 78-year-old Essex man's death, according to Ledford's daughter.

"Everybody always came to my dad," said Stacey Koblinsky, the youngest of Ledford's six daughters.

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Daniel A. Atkinson, 46, and his girlfriend, Lisa Annette Kuczinski, 50, are charged with first-degree murder in Ledford's December death.

Kuczinski had known Ledford and his family for more than 20 for years, Koblinsky said. Kuczinski had dated Koblinsky's cousin. And the Ledfords opened their home to her when she was struggling financially; she lived in their basement for several years, Koblinsky said.

Ledford owned a welding company and performed country and bluegrass music with local bands, his daughter said. He was found dead Dec. 30 in his motor home at an RV park on Sparton Lane. The home had been ransacked and jewelry and money stolen, according to charging documents filed this month in District Court in Towson.

Ledford had been staying at the RV park while separated from his wife, but he was planning to move back home, Koblinsky said.

He suffered 23 stabbing and cutting wounds, and it appeared he had been strangled, charging documents state.

Koblinsky said her father often lent money to people who needed help.

According to the documents, Ledford had bought 60 Valium pills from Kuczinski on Dec. 29 at his home. After the sale, Kuczinski tried to get Ledford to buy more, but Ledford said he didn't want to.

Kuczinski then repeatedly called Ledford's family members to see if Ledford would buy more pills because she needed money, the documents state.

Atkinson told police that Kuczinski insisted he drive them back to Ledford's home early the morning of Dec. 30 to try to get him to buy more of her pills, according to the documents. Witnesses in the RV park reported seeing Atkinson's pickup truck outside the home between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Atkinson said he waited outside while Kuczinski went to talk to Ledford. He said he heard an argument, went inside and saw Kuczinski struggling with Ledford, according to the documents.

A witness, who is not identified in the charging papers, told police that Atkinson told him that he had "hurt someone" and "took someone's life."

Atkinson's attorney could not be reached for comment.

Kuczinski's attorney, T. Wray McCurdy, said his client denies the murder charge.

"I don't think Lisa Kuczinski had anything to do with Hoppy Ledford's death," he said. "My client's pretty adamant with her denial, and she was cooperative with the police."

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Both suspects are being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Ledford loved music and had "so many friends," said Teddy Bevins, who grew up with him.

"He was a good-natured guy, and he didn't deserve what he got," Bevins said. "I loved him like a brother. ... I'll never be the same."

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