Brain Scan Sought in Children's Slaying
Attorneys for a Laurel man charged with fatally shooting his two children and then faking a carjacking on an Eastern Shore bridge asked a judge yesterday to order a brain scan to determine whether he suffered a concussion before talking to police. A Talbot County judge has set a hearing today to consider the request.
The attorneys also are asking the judge to place a gag order on Talbot County prosecutors and state police, forbidding them to speak publicly about the case.
Richard Wayne Spicknall II, 27, was charged last week with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Destiny Array Spicknall, 3, and Richard Wayne "Richie" Spicknall III, 2.
Maryland State Police have accused Spicknall of shooting the children as they sat in their car seats in a Jeep, then parking the vehicle and jumping off a bridge across the Choptank River. Spicknall at first told investigators that an armed hitchhiker carjacked the Jeep with the children inside and threw him off the bridge.
In motions filed yesterday, Spicknall's attorneys, Michael Belsky and Michael E. Davey, argued that Spicknall might have suffered a concussion after a 70-foot plunge from the bridge.
State police say Spicknall eventually told authorities that he killed the children, but Spicknall's attorneys have raised questions about his statement to police.
Dismissal Request Rejected in Girl's Death
A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge refused yesterday to dismiss the first-degree murder charge against Garrett Eldred Wilson in the 1981 death of his infant daughter, but Wilson's attorney said he will take his double-jeopardy argument to a Maryland appeals court.
Barry H. Helfand, Wilson's attorney, asserted the double-jeopardy claim after a Montgomery County judge--sentencing Wilson to life without parole for the murder of his infant son in 1987--said she based her decision on the deaths of both children. Prosecutors in both counties allege Wilson killed the children to collect a total of $190,000 in life insurance money.
The deaths of the children--Brandi Jean and Garrett Michael--originally were attributed to sudden infant death syndrome. Last year, the state medical examiner changed the cause of death for both children to smothering.
The appeal means that Wilson's trial in Prince George's, scheduled for November, will be delayed while the Maryland Court of Special Appeals considers the case.
Man, 23, Dies of Gunshot Wounds
A 23-year-old man, one of four people shot late Sunday in Southeast Washington, died yesterday of his wounds, police said.
Darrick Parks, of the unit block of Bass Circle SE, was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. at D.C. General Hospital.
Parks and three other men were shot about 11:30 p.m. Sunday in a gunfight that took place over several blocks. Parks was shot while riding in a car in the 4300 block of Texas Avenue SE, police spokesman Joe Gentile said.
The other men suffered wounds that were not life-threatening. Police said yesterday they knew of no motive for the shootings.
Parks was a "giving person," said neighbor DeChantale Williams. "He was just a very nice young man."
Probation in Nevada for John Bobbitt
John Wayne Bobbitt was put on probation for five years for his role in a scheme to steal clothes from a Nevada store.
Bobbitt, 32, and five co-defendants had pleaded guilty in Fallon, Nev., to attempted grand larceny and other charges in a plea bargain. An estimated $140,000 in clothing was stolen.
Bobbitt made headlines in 1993 when his then-wife, Lorena, cut off his penis at their apartment in Manassas. She drove off and tossed the organ out the car window. It later was reattached.