Scott Tomaszewski, the Rockville man accused of breaking into a neighbor’s home, killing the couple inside and then going on an Alaskan vacation cruise, was ordered held without bond Monday after prosecutors told a judge that he stabbed and slashed one of the victims 42 times.
Tomaszewski is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the May 10 deaths of Dick and Jody Vilardo. It was Dick Vilardo, 65, who suffered 42 wounds. Jody Vilardo, 67, was stabbed and cut eight times, said John McCarthy, Montgomery County’s top prosecutor.
“The nature of the attack in this case seems to suggest these people were in their bedroom when they were attacked, likely asleep,” McCarthy said. “He came there armed.”
Also Monday, a judge set high bonds for two suspects in another killing in Montgomery. In that case, a 68-year-old woman is accused of conspiring with her lover to kill her 73-year-old husband in Takoma Park.
“The victim was brutally beaten to death,” prosecutor Sherri Koch told Montgomery District Court Judge Jeannie Eun Kyung Cho.
Cho assigned a $5 million bond to the wife, Larlane Brown, whose name is also listed in court records as Larlane Pannell-Brown. Cho assigned a $3 million bond to a man described by police as Larlane Brown’s lover, Hussain Ali Zadeh, 49.
The two were arrested Thursday at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, where Larlane Brown had gone to pick up Zadeh, who had been on a trip to Jamaica, according to police. Detectives in Takoma Park had zeroed in on the couple months ago and were quietly collecting records before making the arrests, officials said.
According to charging documents, Brown and Zadeh texted each other the morning of Aug. 4, shortly before Brown’s husband, Cecil, was found dead. Larlane Brown appeared to be giving Zadeh specific instructions on when to be outside the house where she and Cecil lived, according to court records.
In at least one text message, she used the name “Bryan.” The reason wasn’t clear, but she and Zadeh allegedly shared a laugh over it.
“Your friend name is Bryan,” Brown wrote.
“OK, got u LOL,” Zadeh responded.
The two continued to text. At 11:16 a.m. Brown wrote, “come now.”
Cecil Brown’s body was found in the backyard just over an hour later. After his death, his widow and Zadeh eventually moved in together, according to court records.
Theresa Chernosky, an attorney for Larlane Brown, asked Cho to set a reasonable bond, telling the judge that Brown is not a flight risk, has no prior record and is not a danger. John Lavigne, a public defender who represented Zadeh at the hearing, said the case is “completely circumstantial at this point.”
In the Tomaszewski case, detectives allege that about 1 a.m. on Mother’s Day, Tomaszewski broke into the Vilardos’ home through a window, attacked them, stole more than $7,000worth of jewelry and returned to his family’s home. Hours later, he and his parents left for a planned cruise, officials said.
While at the airport, Tomaszewski sent out a Facebook update wishing everyone a happy Mother’s Day. There is no indication his parents had any idea what had happened.
In court Monday, McCarthy said that after the slayings but before leaving for the airport, Tomaszewski threw his clothes into the washing machine at his parents’ home.
Detectives caught up with Tomaszewski May 16, when the Coral Princess cruise ship pulled into Juneau.They took Tomaszewski into custody as he was about to leave the ship for a day of whale-watching, police said.
Neither Tomaszewski nor his attorney, John Kudel, have given their version of the case in court. Kudel has indicated that he would explore a possible mental health defense.