One of the two men charged with murder in the slaying of a Maryland state trooper was arraigned yesterday in Howard County Circuit Court and given a trial date of April 17.
Eric Tirado, 26, of the Bronx, N.Y., is charged in the March 29 killing of Cpl. Theodore D. Wolf, who was shot during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 near Route 175 in Jessup.
Howard Circuit Court Judge James B. Dudley read Tirado a seven-count indictment, which includes charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery and handgun violations.
Tirado did not enter a plea yesterday, but defense attorney Mark Van Bavel said that Tirado will plead not guilty to all charges. The plea will be entered in writing, Van Bavel said.
The defendant also is charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder, a charge that state prosecutors said was an attempt by the grand jury to "cover all conceivable interpretations" of what happened March 29.
"It's not to be interpreted as a theory of the case," said Assistant State's Attorney Michael Rexroad. Prosecutors have not said whether they think Tirado was the triggerman.
Rexroad said the State's Attorney's Office will announce soon whether it will seek the death penalty.
Prosecutors can wait until 30 days before the trial to inform the defendant of their plan to ask for the death penalty upon conviction.
The other defendant in the Wolf slaying, Francisco Rodriguez, 20, of the Bronx, of is being held in a federal prison in Virginia on drug charges. Rexroad said he does not know when Rodriguez will be brought to Howard County.