WESTMINSTER 1/8 1/8 — WESTMINSTER -- A bail review hearing was set today in District Court for a suspect charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a Carroll County hardware store owner gunned down as he tended his store 13 days ago.
Michael C. Bryson, 25, was arrested about 6:30 p.m. yesterday and charged in the slaying of Charles W. Therit Jr., 51, state police announced last night.
Mr. Bryson, who has no fixed address but has relatives in the area, was taken into custody at a house on East Deep Run Road, a short distance from the hardware store where Mr. Therit was killed, said State Police spokesman Chuck Jackson.
Mr. Bryson also was charged with armed robbery and theft. He then appeared before a District Court commissioner, who ordered him held without bail at the county Detention Center pending today's bail review hearing.
Police said robbery was the apparent motive for the slaying.
Mr. Therit, the operator of Deep Run Hardware in Melrose, a small community north of Manchester, was shot in the face with a shotgun about 8 p.m. March 25.
The cash drawer of the store's register was open when Mr. Therit's body was found. The slaying was Carroll County's first this year.
Mr. Therit's death stunned the residents of Melrose. The Therit family is well-known in the area. The victim's parents had operated a general grocery store in the building for years, and his seven brothers and sisters were fixtures in the community.
Former employees said Mr. Therit knew most of his customers by name.