Accused abductor ruled competent to stand trial

November 16, 1990|By Kelly Gilbert | Kelly Gilbert,Evening Sun Staff

A federal judge today found accused kidnapper Keith W. McCormick Jr. competent to stand trial on charges tied to the alleged July 22 rape-abduction of a Goucher College student.

Judge William M. Nickerson issued the ruling at a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

The judge did not set a trial date pending possible defense motions that are to be filed next month.

Psychiatrists at a federal prison in Atlanta said in a report to the judge that they found McCormick, 33, of Edgewood, to be "lucid" and able to assist in his defense.

McCormick and his attorney, M. Brooke Murdock, an assistant federal public defender, did not oppose the judge's ruling.

McCormick also pleaded not guilty today to charges of kidnapping, interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle, use of a dangerous weapon in a crime of violence, interstate transportation of a firearm and making a false statement to obtain a firearm.

The false statement charge stemmed from McCormick's purchase of a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle from the Bel Air Gun Exchange in Harford County July 20, while he was awaiting sentencing for the rape of a Columbia woman last fall.

Two days after he bought the rifle, McCormick allegedly forced a Harford County woman at knifepoint to engage in several sexual acts with him, then allegedly kidnapped the Goucher coed, raped her and forced her to drive him in her car to Augusta, Ga.

His estranged wife, Kyi Cha McCormick, reported him to county authorities after he attempted to contact her there. She said she feared that he had come to make good on a threat to kill her boyfriend.

The Goucher student escaped from her car shortly after the visit to McCormick's wife's home. She told authorities she had been raped and kidnapped, according to an FBI affidavit.

Soon after that, McCormick was arrested at a motel in Columbia, S.C. on a federal warrant and was brought to Baltimore.

He was sentenced to 18 years in state prison in the Howard County rape case in early August.

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