Murder Trial Postponed Five Times Starts Monday

December 02, 1990|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

MURDER TRIAL POSTPONED FIVE TIMES STARTS MONDAY BALTIMORE SUN (BS) - Sunday, December 2, 1990 By: Alan J. Craver Staff writer Edition: Final Section: Harford Page: 3 Word Count: 407 MEMO: MEMO: CORRECTION A National Guard officer, accused of attempting to murder two men outside a Havre de Grace tavern in March 1989, will go to trial in Harford Circuit Court Monday.

Jury selection for Rodney A. Hathaway, 31, of Havre de Grace, was under way at press time on Friday afternoon.

Testimony before Judge William O. Carr is expected to take four days.

Hathaway, a sergeant in the Maryland National Guard, is charged with two counts each of attempted murder, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to maim, assault and battery. He also is charged with two illegal offenses.

Court records say Hathaway got into a dispute with a Havre de Grace man at Tim's Tavern on March 12, 1989. The men went outside the Havre de Grace establishment, where Hathaway pulled out a handgun and began firing, records say.

FOR THE RECORD - A headline for a story in the Dec. 2 edition of The Harford County Sun incorrectly stated the charge for which Rodney A. Hathaway was to stand trial for in Harford Circuit Court. Hathaway is charged with attempted murder.
The Harford County Sun regrets the error.

Hathaway shot the man in the arm and then fled on foot, the records say.

A group of patrons watching the dispute then pursued Hathaway, who shot one of the men in his leg.

On Thursday, Carr heard arguments on a plea filed by Hathaway's attorney, public defender Lloyd G. Merriam. He asked the court to rule Hathaway to be incompetent and not criminal responsible.

Carr is expected to rule on the plea before testimony starts Monday, court officials said.

In the plea, which was filed on Nov. 13, Merriam noted that Hathaway was opposed to the filing of the request.

"Counsel for the defendant believes that the defendant's decision not to interpose a Not Criminally Responsible plea is a product of the defendant's mental disorder and is neither competent nor intelligent and voluntary," Merriam said.

Hathaway's trial was originally scheduled for August 1989, but it has since been rescheduled five times, according to court records.

Most of Hathaway's trials were postponed because he was at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup for a psychiatric evaluation, records show.

The evaluation, completed in May, showed that Hathaway suffers from schizophreniform disorder and alcohol dependence, records show.

Doctors who evaluated Hathaway also said he is competent to stand trial, but is not criminally responsible for his actions, court records show.

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