Suspect in arson is acquitted HARFORD COUNTY

January 28, 1993|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer

A Circuit Court jury deliberated nearly six hours before acquitting a 23-year-old man last night in a Thanksgiving Day 1991 arson that killed two people in a Catonsville apartment house.

Defendant Andreas Klepp-Egge, who has spent nearly 15 months in jail, clenched his hands in front of his face as the jury foreman said, "Not guilty," as each of the multiple charges was read by a clerk.

"There was not enough conclusive evidence," said a jury member.

The victims of the fire in the first block of N. Rolling Road were Ruth L. Westervelt, 72, and her autistic son, Vaughn Crenning, 52, who were found in a first-floor bed- room.

Frank Meyer and Mark Tilkin, assistant state's attorneys from Baltimore County, told the jury Mr. Klepp-Egge set the blaze for revenge against a resident of the building.

On the morning of the fire, evidence showed Mr. Klepp-Egge did go to the apartment about 3 a.m.

Prosecutors claimed the defendant returned later and set the fire.

Defense attorney M. Gordon Tayback said his client never returned. He shifted the jury's attention to the resident of the building involved in the dispute and a friend of Mrs. Westervelt's, who was convicted of murder in 1980 and inherited Mrs. Westervelt's house after her death.

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