A Prince George's County prosecutor, citing "a number of discrepancies" uncovered during the investigation of a fatal shooting outside Capital Centre Tuesday night, asked a district court judge yesterday to release the only suspect in the case pending a grand jury hearing.
Judge Louis Ditrani rejected the request, but later agreed to send John Steven Mauthe, 21, to Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville for psychiatric evaluation.
Assistant state's attorney Stephen Orenstein declined to elaborate on what he meant by "discrepancies," saying that all evidence in the case will be presented to the grand jury on Wednesday. However, after consulting with police investigators and Mauthe's lawyers, he told Judge Ditrani that a first-degree murder indictment of Mauthe was "unlikely at this time."
Mauthe was arrested Tuesday night and charged with slaying Richard L. Wright, 21, of Beltsville before a Rolling Stones concert. Wright and a friend, Andrew J. Ulsaker, 21, told police they had gone to the arena to try to buy tickets to the concert and went into an adjacent field to relieve themselves when the shooting occurred.
Gary S. Bernstein, Mauthe's lawyer, told the judge he believes the state has evidence that his client was the victim of an attempted robbery and his unnamed girlfriend an attempted rape.
"It is clear that Mr. Mauthe and his girlfriend were attacked," Bernstein said after the court hearing.
Ulsaker, a 21-year-old employe of a Silver Spring roofing firm, told police that he and Wright were urinating in the woods when a man and woman approached Wright and an argument over tickets ensued. Ulsaker said when he turned to face the strangers he was shot once in the chest. Wright was shot twice with a .25-caliber pistol and died one hour later at Prince George's General Hospital.