The Maryland Court of Special Appeals yesterday upheld the murder conviction of Gene T. Meyer, a Montgomery County man who was convicted in a 1977 "you kill my wife, I'll kill yours" murder plot.
Meyer, who is serving a life sentence in Baltimore, was found guilty of slashing to death the wife and infant daughter of his friend, Lon Lewis, of 4807 Raemore Dr., Bowie.
Lewis was found guilty of being an accessory to the murders.
Lewis' conviction was reversed in August by the Court of Appeals because Maryland law at the time required that an accessory to murder cannot be tried until after the sentencing of the principal in a murder.
Lewis, who had been given a life sentence, is currently free pending a new trial.
Meyer's lawyer had argued that Meyer was illegally detained and questioned by police before he was advised of his rights, and that a statement he made at that time should not have been admitted into evidence. In upholding the conviction, the court ruled, however, that since Meyer denied any connection with the crime in his first statement, "it in no way influenced the jury's verdict."
Meyer confessed to the crimes in a later statement after he was advised of his rights by a District Court commissioner. The court ruled that the confession was "a product of the appellant's free will divorced from the preceding illegal detention."
Lewis, then 27, and Meyer, also 27, allegedly planned the murders of their wives in April 1977 in San Antonio, where both were in training as computer technicians for a Baltimore firm.
Lewis testified at his trial that Meyer broached the subject by offering to kill Lewis' wife so that Lewis would be free to continue his relationship with a girlfriend.
After Lewis' wife was killed, the plan allegedly called for Lewis to kill Meyer's wife, Hortensia, so that Meyer could collect on a $100,000 insurance policy. Mrs. Meyer was not killed, however, and Lewis testified at his trial that he thought the plot was "all a game."