Security guard convicted of murdering woman Victim was found stabbed to death in remote area of Patapsco State Park

August 05, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel Circuit Court jury convicted a 29-year-old security guard yesterday of murdering a Baltimore woman who was stabbed 26 times last fall and found a week later in a remote section of Patapsco State Park near Elkridge.

David C. Boser of the 200 block of S. Vincent St. in Baltimore was found guilty of first-degree murder after a four-day trial before Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.

The jury of eight men and four women listened to 22 witnesses, saw photos of the 29-year-old victim, Emma Jean Wantland, and were told that the time of her Sept. 23 death could be determined by the size of the maggots on her body.

"Death ain't pretty," assistant public defender Robert Waldman told jurors when the trial opened last week. "Even in the best of circumstances it's not often pretty. And this isn't the best of circumstances."

In closing arguments yesterday, Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Spivak summarized what she said the evidence showed. Boser picked Ms. Wantland up in Baltimore in his 1977 Malibu station wagon, Ms. Spivak said, and drove to the park, where he chased her and attacked her with a hunting knife.

Ms. Wantland fought back, and Boser stabbed himself in the left forearm, she said.

According to testimony, Boser, bleeding profusely, drove to a nearby home for help, and after getting no response, drove to Main Street in Elkridge in Howard County, where he crashed into a fence.

The stab wound and extensive blood on the car prompted Howard County police to send two detectives to interview Boser the next day at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, according to testimony.

Howard County Detective Sgt. Kevin Burnette testified that Boser gave conflicting accounts of how he cut his arm, saying hitchhikers had done it, then that a friend named "Tommie" had done it. He later told the officers who arrested him that the wound was self-inflicted, according to testimony.

Boser also could not explain the blood smeared on the passenger side of the car, Sergeant Burnette said. But police released Boser and his car because they had no victim.

When Anne Arundel County highway cleanup crews found Ms. Wantland's body a week later, about a mile from the crash JTC scene, Anne Arundel Lt. Dennis Bailey asked Howard County police about missing people, according to testimony.

Howard police didn't have a missing woman but did have a suspect, Lieutenant Bailey testified.

Boser was arrested a week later by police in Batavia, N.Y.

In his closing argument, Mr. Waldman told jurors that the state had established no motive for the murder and had no witnesses that placed his client at the murder scene. Most of the evidence was from police statements and reports filed after the arrest, he argued.

"It's suspicious circumstances, real suspicious circumstances, no doubt about it. But is there conclusive proof here?" he said.

But Ms. Spivak said the victim left behind the best clue possible, a coin-sized patch of her blood that police found on Boser's car.

"David Boser may have slit Emma Wantland's throat, but he did not silence her, because she reached out from the grave and left what is her genetic fingerprint on his car," Ms. Spivak said.

Boser's parents, Forest and Mary Boser of Baltimore, said throughout the trial that their son had been "railroaded" by police and prosecutors.

The Bosers were barred from the courtroom when the state presented its case because the prosecutor listed them as potential witnesses.

At one point Tuesday, Mr. Boser threw a letter Mr. Waldman wrote to their son into the jury room as jurors entered during a break from the trial. The letter was snatched from a juror's hands before any of them read it, and Judge Thieme instructed jurors to disregard the incident.

Mrs. Boser later said that she and her husband were being frustrated by the legal system.

"There just isn't any evidence there against my son," she said.

Ms. Spivak disputed that, calling the evidence "overwhelming."

Hair found on Boser's car matched the victim's hair, and the tire tracks of Boser's car, near the accident scene, passed by the bushes where police said the murder weapon -- a hunting knife with a 4-inch blade -- was later found .

Hair found on the knife matched the victim's hair, and, though heavy rain washed away any blood that might have proved it to be the murder weapon, a medical examiner testified that the victim's wounds were consistent with markings that would be made by such a knife.

Boser also admitted that he kept a hunting knife under the front seat of his car, and when he was arrested he had topographic maps of the state park area where Ms. Wantland's body was found.

John W. Anna, a New York State Police investigator, said that he was being charged with murder and possibly rape, Boser's response was, "I didn't rape her."

Ms. Spivak said she will ask for a life term when Boser appears for sentencing before Judge Thieme Sept. 27.

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