Escapee Returns For Murder Trial

Convicted Rapist Charged With Stomping Glen Burnie Woman To Death

January 19, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff writer

A convicted rapist who escaped from the County Detention Center two years ago has arrived back here from Illinois to stand trial on charges of stomping to death a pregnant Glen Burnie woman almost seven years ago.

John C. Easterwood was escorted here by three county police officers in a private plane, officials said. He arrived at the detention center at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and is being held in the maximum security section.

Easterwood is tentatively scheduled to stand trial Feb. 11 on first-degree murder charges in July 1985 killing of resident Rebecca Elaine Claypool. She was three months pregnant at the time of her death.

Claypool died from severe blows to her head and neck, police said. Easterwood was charged in the case in 1988 when an expert witness matched marks on her body with the tread on Easterwood's tennis shoes.

Assistant State's Attorney Eugene Whissel II said he is not sure what penalty he will ask for in the case.

On Jan. 8, 1990, Easterwood and another inmate, Frederick Joseph Mangone, escaped from the detention center and gaining access to the roof.

The pair stole a car and drove to Chicago where they were caught about two weeks later. Easterwood was captured at O'Hare International Airport by a securityofficer who found him loitering in a parking garage.

He was sentenced to six years after being convicted in Illinois of breaking into parked cars, Whissel said.

Easterwood was convicted in 1986 of raping a Severna Park woman.

Al Arnett, chief administrator for the state's attorney's office said officials picked up Easterwood from an Illinois state prison in Menard, Ill. near the Missouri state line.

Richard Baker, superintendent at the county jail, said Easterwood is allowed out of his 70-foot cell for one hour a day for recreation, to make phone calls and to shower.

Inmates in the maximum securitysection are normally allowed outside for recreation, Baker said.

"But Mr. Easterwood is not allowed outside based on our concerns about his past behavior," Baker said.

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