Police hold suspect in Valley Brook robbery, murder Glen Burnie cook held without bail in shooting death

August 26, 1992|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

A Glen Burnie man was ordered held without bail in the shooting death of man outside the Valley Brook Apartments, despite an attorney's claim that his client does not have a history of violent crimes or pose a threat to the community.

Although county police homicide investigators had been looking for two assailants, yesterday they said they now believe that Rodney Lawrence Conyer, 20, of the 100 block of Faywood Court, was acting alone early Saturday morning when he allegedly robbed and shot James William Helphenstine, 37, of the 1100 block of Wharf Drive.

Mr. Conyer, who has a record of misdemeanor convictions dating back two years, turned himself in to police Sunday afternoon when he learned detectives were looking for him. He was being sought in connection with a 4 a.m. slaying in the 7800 block of Southhampton Drive in the Valley Brook community, attorney Howard Gerber said.

Mr. Conyer was charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery. He was being held yesterday in the county Detention Center.

During yesterday's District Court bail review hearing, Mr. Gerber said his client, who worked as a cook at the Rumble Fish restaurant in Glen Burnie, could be the victim of a mistaken identity.

"The state is basing his case on clothing he was wearing," Mr. Gerber said, "which is very common clothing."

According to charging documents, witnesses told police Mr. Helphenstine had been followed to the spot where the shooting occurred by an unidentified man. Witnesses said the man was wearing light-blue bib-overall shorts.

Informants in the community told investigators a man identifying himself as "Rodney" told them that he had just shot a man outside, the charging documents said.

Police searched Mr. Conyer's apartment and found a pair of light-blue bib-overall shorts. While denying he was involved in the shooting, Mr. Conyer told police he had been wearing those shorts at the time it occurred.

The charging documents said Mr. Helphenstine was robbed of at least $100 and a gold diamond ring.

Court records show Mr. Conyer is also wanted for failing to appear in court on charges of unauthorized use of a car.

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