Kenneth Raymond Annack, a 38-year-old home improvement contractor from Baltimore, was found guilty by a Prince George's County jury yesterday of the murder of a Laurel man who he said he believed had raped his wife.
The prosecutor, Deborah A. Johnston, argued that Annack's wife was not raped and that she participated in the August 1981 murder of Danny Wayne Ward, 30.
Annack's wife, Catherine M. Annuck is scheduled to go to trial today on the same charges on which her husband was convicted, first-degree murder and carrying a deadly weapon. Judge Audrey E. Melbourne set Dec. 28 for sentencing Kenneth Annack, who could receive a life sentence.
Annack testified that he did not fire the gun. He said his wife directed him to a house in Laurel where she said she was raped and sexually assaulted, and that she picked up his shotgun when Ward came to the door. Ward called her a "whore," Annack said, and "the next thing I know, there was a shot, and he fell backwards. I did not fire the shot at all . . . . Cathy was shaking. I took the gun from her."
A witness for the prosecution testified that Annack asked the man who answered the door "Are you Danny Ward?" and that when he said he was, Annack shot him. Assistant state's attorney Johnston told the jury that Annack "knew what he was doing, and planned it all himself."
Defense attorney Allan J. Goldstein described the case as "a sordid tale, a tale of love and hate, of sex and violence," but contended that his client was not the killer.
Annack told the jury he "just wanted to talk to the man and see what the story was." He acknowledged that he told friends he had killed Ward, but testified that he had agreed with his wife that he would take the blame "because I loved my wife."
Annack said he continued to believe his wife had been raped until she told him several weeks later that she had gone to bed willingly with Ward "at first."
Arrest warrants were taken out against the Annacks the day after the killing, but the couple had fled the state and, according to testimony, spent the next month traveling around the country, sleeping in a tent. They were arrested in September last year in front of Graceland, Elvis Presley's mansion in Memphis.