Bail denied to 2 men held in Carney slayings

April 30, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

A girlfriend's conscience, a bloodstained jacket and shoes and a broken knifepoint led to the arrests of two men charged with killing a mother and daughter in their Carney home Jan. 24.

Richard Dean White, 42, of Parkville, the estranged husband of one victim, and Michael Stewart Matusky, 43, of Cockeysville, a family friend, were denied bail on first- degree murder charges yesterday in Towson District Court.

Court documents disclosed that Mr. Matusky, who was acquitted of murdering a county police informant in 1976, became the prime suspect in the case after police received a call from White's girlfriend.

Mr. Matusky allegedly told White as they were drinking in a neighborhood bar that January afternoon that he wanted to kill Gertrude Poffel, 75, and her daughter Pamela, 39, of the 2800 block of Fifth Ave., "for what they did to Ted." Pamela's brother Ted Poffel, the documents said, committed suicide in 1985.

Police initially believed the case a drug-related killing because the bodies were discovered by a man who told them he was there to deliver a half-pound of marijuana, and found the women dead.

An investigation of the scene turned up bloody shoeprints, even though both women were barefoot.

The autopsy of the younger victim produced a broken knife tip in her skull. Both women were killed by multiple stab wounds, the autopsy showed.

When interviewed by police the next day, White said he spent Jan. 24, the day of the murder, with his girlfriend. The girlfriend told homicide detectives that that was not true, and that White told her to lie for him because he had been drinking while on probation. White was sentenced to five years in prison, with three years probation, in March 1987 for armed robbery and weapons violations, a prison spokesman said.

The girlfriend also told county homicide detectives that White cried as he described sitting in Mr. Matusky's car outside the women's home at the time of the murders. Police later recovered a bloodstained jacket from White.

A search warrant for Mr. Matusky's Cockeysville apartment turned up tennis shoes whose treads matched those at the murder scene and a knife with the blade tip broken off, police said.

Roger Sullivan, Mr. Matusky's attorney, argued at yesterday's bail review that his client has worked as a pipefitter at General Motors since 1985, and was a union steamfitter for 15 years before that, and had family in the area. A 1990 charge of racial harassment against Mr. Matusky was dropped when the alleged victim of a barroom incident did not appear in court.

Mr. Sullivan also asked that his client be assigned a cell separate from other inmates because, he said, Mr. Matusky has a hereditary illness that sometimes renders him temporarily paralyzed and helpless.

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