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Murder Charges Dropped, State's Attorney Blames Sheriff

Russell Scott Laderer and Cassandra Glover were headed to trial in the stabbing death of Jeremiah DeMario.

Carroll County State's Attorney Jerry Barnes dismissed charges against a couple accused in the stabbing death of a Hampstead man in September 2010, saying fault lies with the Carroll County Sheriff's Department.

The trial was set to begin Monday, March 12.

Barnes said in a court document that the sheriff's department made errors in the murder investigation that made prosecution nearly impossible.

"...We have reached a point in this case wherein we can no longer legally or ethically overcome the consequences of unconstitutional police procedures utilized in the investigation of these cases, that have resulted in this Court's rightful suppression of the evidence necessary to proceed," Barnes said in a court document.

The sheriff's department declined comment regarding its conduct in the homicide case, saying that all inquiries were being addressed by the county state's attorney's office. The county state's attorney's office declined further comment.

However, in court documents, the prosecutor's criticism of the sheriff's department was scathing.

"The damaging law enforcement conduct that has deprived our office of the evidence required to proceed with these cases was both avoidable and inexcusable, casting an unfortunate cloud over law enforcement in this county that will long be remembered by all, especially the public at large," Barnes said.

Barnes pointed out procedural and decision-making errors on the part of the Sheriff's Department during the murder investigation that would hinder the prosecution.

"This disastrous course of conduct began with the Sheriff's Department's foolish, ego-driven rejection of the Maryland State Police offer of full assistance in the investigation as well as a willful failure to call our office [State's Attorney] for legal advice," Barnes said.

On Sept. 13, 2010 Jeremiah DeMario of Hampstead was stabbed to death in his apartment building. Neighbors Russell Scott Laderer and Cassandra Lynn Glover were implicated.

According to court documents, Laderer was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and carrying a weapon with intent to cause harm. Glover was charged with obstructing a police officer and accessory after the fact.

In the document Barnes submitted to the court, he concluded with the statement, "There is no statute of limitations on this homicide and we will work tirelessly to ultimately secure justice and some degree of closure of this tragic event."

romeo valianti January 12, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Nickolas Plazio jr, what a nice thing to say about your father. I agree with you and my daughter Carole V. Hammen who says your father is one of the best police officwer she has ever met . I hope your father stays in the policing business as we all are rewarded for his superior ability and qualifications especially dedication. Thanks Nick Plazio Sr.
Nicholas Plazio Jr January 12, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Thank you Romeo and thank your daughter for me. Unfortunately a county has been weakened upon his resignation. As part of his outrageous plea, he is not allowed to work in law enforcement. Lets hope the Deputies captured one iota of the knowledge he had to offer.
Steven R. Ramalski January 12, 2013 at 07:57 PM
So then Junior, who then is responsible for the fact that a murderer has been cut loose into our neighborhoods? This is the basic function of a law enforcement agency. This is not something that can be just chalked up to inexperience and we all just say lets givem a do over! Someone has to be held accountable for this, and I hardly think the state’s attorney is the first place the finger should be pointed. Shoot, he fired the guy that gave bad information. At least he has that going for him. I appreciate the fact that you are standing up for you father. I’m sure he was the sacrificial lamb for a lot of other people. In reading through all the stories it appears that he fell on the sword for the sheriff & a guy that has been sending out press releases his entire career. Because of your father the sheriff still has his job and Kasten can run for sheriff in the future (pretty sure this will come back and haunt him though). So yes your father is a very honorable man, he took all the blame for a couple of guys that probably should have followed suit and just left themselves.
Nicholas Plazio Jr January 12, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Thats the million dollar question steven. In short, I dont know. I know a lack of education and experience is not to blame. And I know the only other answer is a lack of integrity. Given the aforementioned post you can see why thats hard to believe. My Dad and I have a tell all relationship and he vehemently denies giving the order to this day. I do know that Detective Eppersons reputation was not squeky clean before this. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great. But my dads was great. I've gotten tired of defending my families honor for the past 6 months. And I'm tired of the blame game. A tradgedy occurred. And even though they werent sentenced to jail. I take comfort knowing their reputations are shattered forever. They cant ever go to the grocery store or the gym without people starring and talking about them. And they will answer to a higher calling one day. But Epperson either followed an illegal order willingly or violated the constitution willingly or both. So yes, I say its his fault. A Major shouldnt have to baby sit a detective. I guarantee my father was sitting in his office doing paperwork during the entire interrogation. He doesnt believe in micromanaging.
Buck Harmon January 12, 2013 at 11:30 PM
The entire process seems sloppy and broken...

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