St. Timothy's guard told before her death to keep worker away

October 02, 1991|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

On the night she was beaten to death, part-time security guard Kimberly R. Kenna had been instructed to make sure a groundskeeper didn't sleep on campus in his car, the headmaster of St. Timothy's School for girls told a Baltimore County Circuit Court jury yesterday.

Now the former groundskeeper, Harvey Allen Teets Jr., 28, of Manchester, is on trial for murder, accused of using a wooden club to beat his co-worker to death.

Ms. Kenna, 23, was killed between about 11 p.m. Feb. 22 and 7 a.m. the next day, when a teacher found her body floating in a pond and a trail of blood leading from the guard shack, prosecutor Steve Bailey said in his opening statement.

Galen H. Brewster, headmaster at the exclusive private high school on Greenspring Avenue in Stevenson, testified that he saw Mr. Teets' car on campus that night and learned that he was working late.

That was fine, said Mr. Brewster, who testified that Mr. Teets had been "thorough, hard-working . . . and took instruction well" since he was hired in July 1990.

But the headmaster said he didn't want the man sleeping on campus again -- especially since he'd also been told that Mr. Teets had asked "to watch television in one of the dormitories with the girls."

Mr. Brewster said he told Ms. Kenna, " 'If that car doesn't leave the campus, I want to know about it.' " But he heard nothing from Ms. Kenna that night, he testified. Their practice was to have four employees on campus in radio contact, and Ms. Kenna, a guard since September 1990, was supposed to notify them if she went to investigate anything.

He said Ms. Kenna seemed to have no more than an acquaintance with Mr. Teets, who yesterday sat quietly in a navy blue suit.

The first witness yesterday was Gregory Kunkel of Pittsburgh, a May 1991 graduate who met Ms. Kenna at Penn State and planned to marry her when he settled into a full-time career. They were pleased about her job at St. Timothy's, he said, because the free housing on campus allowed them to save money for their future.

"To me, she was the most beautiful girl I've ever seen," Mr. Kunkel said.

Mr. Bailey promised the jury evidence that blood on Mr. Teets' boots and on a club he carried was consistent with that of the victim, and testimony from a jail cellmate to whom Mr. Teets "spilled his guts."

In her opening statement, Assistant Public Defender Wendy A. Zerwitz dismissed the cellmate as someone looking for a deal and labeled the state's case circumstantial.

"This was a brutal, senseless, horrible act," she told the jury, "but do not let that cloud your judgment."

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