Jurors told how slain woman was found

April 07, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

An article in yesterday's Anne Arundel edition should have said that the body of Marlene Kilpatrick of Arnold was discovered Jan. 3, 1992.

The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

Jurors in the murder trial of Albert G. Givens, an Annapolis handyman accused of killing an Arnold woman who had hired him, heard the victim's 31-year-old daughter describe yesterday arriving home in August to find her mother lying in a pool of blood.

"I pushed the door open. There was a lot of blood in the kitchen, and my first thought was 'Oh my God, she's cut her foot,' " Lisa O'Connell said, describing how she drove from her Pasadena home to her mother's carriage house apartment on Church Road about noon Aug. 3.


Mrs. O'Connell followed the trail of dried blood through the living room and to the bedroom, where she found her mother's body and ran screaming from the house.

Marlene Kilpatrick had been stabbed, dragged to her bedroom, sexually assaulted with a soda bottle and forced in her final moments to drink a cleaning fluid, according to testimony in the first day of trial.

Officer John J. Guzinski, a 14-year veteran of the county police, responded to the 911 call Mrs. O'Connell placed from a neighbor's house. He found her in the arms of a truck driver, who had stopped to help because she appeared so distraught while pacing the front lawn.

"She was crying, she was upset, she could hardly speak," Officer Guzinski said.

Jeffrey Cover, an evidence collection supervisor for the county police, said he arrived to find that phone lines near the front of the house had been severed.

The jury of 11 men and one woman watched Mr. Cover don rubber gloves as he handled items taken from the scene as evidence: a half-filled Coke bottle, a bottle of Sprite, a Mason jar and lid, a steak knife and a broken knife blade found near the victim.

Mr. Cover said the evidence failed to reveal any usable finger prints.

The victim's red Mercury Cougar, which was taken after the killing, also failed to turn up any prints when recovered the next day near Clement's Hardware Store in Severna Park, Mr. Cover testified.

Gordon Clement, who was working at the family-owned store and first spotted the car, said he saw a "heavyset man" between 35 and 50 leaving the vicinity of the car that morning.

He failed to pick out Mr. Givens in a photo lineup about three months after the killing, according to testimony. But he called police to say it was Mr. Givens he saw the morning the car was found, after Mr. Givens had been arrested July 31 and his photograph placed in a local newspaper.

He testified that the photo "sparked" his memory, because Mr. Givens showed the same surprised look in the photo that he displayed the morning he left the car.

Mr. Cover said there were no signs of forced entry at the house. All the windows had been locked, except one rear window that was unopened and had cobwebs wrapped around its frame, he said.

Police began to focus their investigation on the short list of

suspects who knew Mrs. Kilpatrick well enough that she would let them inside, according to testimony.

A list provided by Mrs. O'Connell included her brothers, Joseph Kilpatrick and David Kilpatrick, and two or three other friends.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Paul Kirby, Mrs. O'Connell acknowledged that her mother had a strained relationship with her estranged husband, William Paul, and that a son, Joseph, was not acknowledged in Mrs. Kilpatrick's will.

The case is expected to go to the jury next Wednesday.

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