Charles County sheriff announces arrest in 2004 killing of Waldorf bartender

By Bethany Rodgers
Maryland Independent
Thursday, November 4, 2010

For the first time in years, Samantha and Phaon Payne plan to celebrate Thanksgiving, something they haven't done since their son, Christopher Mader of Waldorf, was fatally shot in the early hours of the holiday in 2004.

"Our celebration is the fact that there is someone who is going to be held accountable," Samantha Payne said.

Last Thursday, Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey announced that officials had arrested a Virginia man in connection with the killing and extradited him to Maryland.

Citing an ongoing investigation, sheriff's detectives have said little about the evidence implicating the man charged, Matthew Derek Correll, 29. Coffey said a telephone tip led authorities to the King George man.

Correll, who was arrested Oct. 22, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon, among other charges. He is being held without bond in the Charles County jail.

Mader's parents attended the Oct. 28 news conference, at which officials announced the arrest. His mother was clutching a picture of Mader at 6 months old. Before the news conference began, Coffey leaned over to the family to speak to them about the case.

"We've never stopped thinking about it," he told them.

Thanksgiving 2004

The holiday had barely begun when Mader, then 23, left work and opted to head home instead of grabbing a bite with co-workers.

A popular bartender at Bennigan's in Waldorf, Mader's life ended just seconds away from his Hampshire community. Authorities think Mader's killer intended to rob him.

About 2:30 a.m., a bullet tore through the driver's-side window of Mader's car and struck him in the head, according to Coffey and news reports from the time. An off-duty D.C. police officer heard the shooting, and Mader's car hit a signpost and power box near William B. Wade Elementary School. The officer called authorities but didn't witness the incident, according to news reports.

Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene on Smallwood Drive West. Det. Jack Austin was among the officers there when Mader's family learned what had happened.

"I can still hear his mom screaming" when detective Keith Moody told her, Austin said.

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