Montgomery County police have arrested a 22-year-old Beltsville man and charged him with assault with intent to murder in the Christmas night shotgun attack of a crowded home in Silver Spring.
Jeffery Meines 22, of 9348 Cherry Hill Rd., was arrested Monday and held in the Montgomery County detention center in lieu of $5,000 bond. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in jail.
The charges stem from an incident Christmas night in which two vandals knocked over a life-sized nativity scene and tore down holiday decorations at the home of Evelyn Wills on 12423 Kemp Mills Rd., Silver Spring.
The family's annual holiday display, including Christmas carols, 5,000 twinkling lights, plastic rooftop reinder, and messages of good will has attracted a large following in the area, with strangers sending money to help pay the electric bill.
Wills family members, aided by their dog, captured one of the intruders. Meines' brother, 18-year-old Deane Williams Meines, later was charged with vandalism.
The other intruder promised revenge, according to the family and later that night, around 4:30 a.m. Dec. 26, three shotgun blasts ripped through the Wills' house, narrowly missing several of the 15 people who were sleeping inside.
The attack, one of a number of incidents involving the Wills household, was condemned by the Montgomery County chapter of the NAACP as an "attempt . . . to return to the violence of the old unreconstructed South."