Shore radio station manager surrenders to police Girl died after party at his home

August 31, 1991|By Roger Twigg

An article and headline in The Sun Saturday gave the wrong title for the employee of a Worcester County radio station charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors by allegedly supplying them with alcohol. Charles Robert Walters is program director of WDMV, not the station manager.

The Sun regrets the errors.

A Worcester County radio station manager surrendered yesterday to the state police, a day after being charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors by allegedly holding parties where alcohol was consumed by teen-agers.

One of the party-goers, 16-year-old Jill Lee Pilchard of Pocomoke City, collapsed and died last weekend after attending a party at the home of Charles Robert Walters, 46, general manager of the country-western radio station WDMV, according to police.


Mr. Walters was also charged with operating a disorderly house, maintaining a common nuisance and reckless endangerment. He wasbeing held in the Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill in lieu of $5,000 bond.

Since July 13, teen-agers -- sometimes a few, other times as many as 150 -- have been gathering at Mr. Walters' modest Worcester County rancher to have parties, according to state police.

Neighbors told police investigators recently that they had complained about the loudness and drunkenness of the teen-agers, some as young as 15, but only after Jill Pilchard's death of as yet undetermined causes did police thoroughly investigate it.

"It was a place where teen-agers could go without being hassled," said Tfc Paul L. Frick, a criminal investigator at the Berlin state police barracks.

"No one has accused [Mr. Walters] of causing her death. We won't know that until the medical examiner finishes his job," Trooper Frick said.

"The action we have taken was for allowing this to happen at his home knowing full well the ages of the participants."

Police contend that teen-agers had been going to the home of Mr. Walters, a divorced father of two, since he moved into the rancher in Stockton in July.

But based on interviews with the teen-agers, the police said they believe that he held parties at other houses he owned in Pocomoke City and Chincoteague when his son, now 18, lived with him.

Trooper Frick said that the teen-agers regarded Mr. Walters as a "friend" and knew that they could go to his house in the 4700 block of Big Mill Road and drink alcoholic beverages "without being hassled."

He said that the police had no reports of any major disturbances or other health problems linked to the parties.

But the information about complaints made by neighbors is still being checked out, he added.

"We haven't finished our investigation. We anticipate there will be other arrests. We just wanted to put out the message as soon as we could that this type of activity by teenagers or adults will not be tolerated," Trooper Frick said.

Jill Pilchard died at Peninsula General Hospital early Sunday. Police said that the girl, who attended Pocomoke High School, had alcohol in her system but the cause of death has not been determined.

Toxicology test results will not be available for about two weeks, according to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore.

She was the second teen-ager to die on the Eastern Shore in recent weeks after attending parties where alcoholic beverages were dispensed. Brian Ball, 15, of Trenton, Texas, died Aug. 11 of alcohol poisoning after a party in Salisbury.

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