MANCHESTER — A friend of Charles W. Therit Jr. has established a fund that will pay a reward for any providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of Therit's killer.
Therit, 51, who was the operator of Deep Run Hardware in Melrose, was slain on Wednesday, March 25, about8 p.m. Maryland State Police developed a composite sketch of a possible suspect, but have not been able to locate him.
Mick Schmidt, Therit's friend since elementary school, said the purpose of the fund "is to raise whatever money we can because we knowthat somebody out there can provide information to solve this crime."
Schmidt said that he has been able to collect a little more than$300 so far.
The fund has been named the Charles Therit Justice Fund. Checks can be made sent directly to the fund at P.O. Box 828, Manchester, Md. 21102, or care of the fund at the Manchester branch of the Westminster Bank and Trust Co., 2965 Manchester Road, Manchester,Md., 21102.
Schmidt said if nobody claims the reward, the money collected will be donated to charity in Therit's name.
MOTHER, SON CHARGED
SYKESVILLE -- After conducting a search of their house, Maryland State Police arrested a mother and her 19-year-old son on March 29 on charges of manufacturing and possessing crack cocaine.
Police had obtained a search warrant to check the house for drugs, and while the search was taking place, a alleged customer drove up and he was arrested after drugs were found in his car.
Estelle I. Cartnail, 41, of the 6500 block of Carrolltowne Village Road, was arrested after searching her house and finding 33 small plastic bags of crack, a large number of glassine bags and $660 in cash.
Her son, Gordon L. Cartnail, 19, was arrested at the same time.
Estelle Cartnail was charged with possession, possession with the intent to distribute, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Her son was charged with manufacturing drugs, possession with the intent to distribute, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Gordon Cartnail is already facing charges of attempted first-degree murder arising from a drive-by shooting that took place Dec. 20, 1991.
Michael K. Lopez, 27, of the 2100 block of Harvest Farm Road, was charged with drug possession and possession of drugs with the intent to use after police searched his car.
2 TRESPASSERS CAUGHT
SYKESVILLE -- Two Howard County men were arrested and charged with one count of breaking and entering, theft under $300, trespassing and malicious destruction Tuesday.
Police said Eric N. Hunter, 29, of Columbia and William J. Wilcoxen, 29,of Ellicott City parked outside of what appeared to be an abandoned storehouse on Brangles Road. They entered the property and allegedly pried open a door to the storehouse.
Seeing two men, neighbors called Maryland State Trooper James Hockett, who leases the property.
Hockett, who was off duty at the time, arrived to find two pickup trucks parked in the lane leading to the property. He also found two men, one of whom was carrying a claw hammer.
Hockett notified the Westminster Barracks that he had apprehended two trespassers on his property.
When Trooper D.A. Hoff arrived, he found in the trucks several pieces of scrap aluminum that had been removed from the storehouse.
The men were released after posting $2,000 bond.
SEAT BELT USE UP
WESTMINSTER -- Westminster Police Department said that seat belt use was up in March, according to their observations.
As part of the governor's highway safety program, Westminster Police conducted two days of observations at four intersections.Of the 4,100 cars observed, 79 percent were complying with the statelaw that requires people in the front seats of a car to wear their seat belts. Police said usage is up 8 percent when compared to March last year.
Of the drivers observed, 79 percent of the males, 86 percent of the females and 59 percent of the truck drivers were wearing seat belts.
Westminster Police said they also issued 31 warnings -- 29 seat-belt and two child-restraint violations and 88 citations for not using seat belts (87 adult and one child violation).
Police also reported that they made 21 arrests for driving while intoxicated, 66 citations for driving 10 mph over the speed limit and 221 warnings for driving between one and nine mph over the speed limit.
SEAT BELT USERS HONORED
WESTMINSTER -- Thirteen people were honored last week for using their seat belts, but the biggest honor of all was that they were alive to accept the award.
As part of its ongoing effort to promote seat belt use, Westminster PoliceDepartment honored people whose lives were saved by being belted in their cars during accidents.
Honored were: Sarah Belt, Brent Barbour, Dorothy Gerard, Rusty Harman, Bryant Renfro, Deborah Renfro, Heather Renfro, John Reynolds, Karen Smith, William Smith, Charles Utz, Gina Vespignani and Franklin Witmer III.
CRIME OF THE WEEK