Suspects in double slaying arrive on flight from Florida CARROLL COUNTY

August 06, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

The three suspects arrested in Florida in connection with the stabbing deaths of a Westminster couple returned to Maryland last night, authorities said.

Jason Aaron DeLong, 18, of Westminster and Sara E. Citroni, 17, of Reisterstown waived extradition to Maryland at a brief hearing yesterday in a West Palm Beach, Fla., courtroom, officials said.

The two, in the custody of Westminster police, arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 9:30 p.m. on USAir flight 1842 from Orlando.

Also on the flight was a 14-year-old runaway from Reisterstown, who was arrested Monday by St. John's County, Fla., police after wrecking a car belonging to one of the victims.

Each of the three was put in a separate police car parked on the tarmac and whisked to Westminster.

All three were wearing blue shirts and had been sitting in the back of the plane under police supervision. They boarded the plane in Orlando before other passengers on the regularly PTC scheduled flight.

The passengers knew they were riding with prisoners but did not who the suspects were or why they were in police custody.

"There were real live criminals on the back of the plane!" one

young boy entering the airport terminal exclaimed to waiting friends.

No charges have been filed against the youth, but prosecutors and police say that a decision on whether to pursue his case in adult court is pending.

Westminster police found the bodies of Cathryn Brace Farrar -- Mr. DeLong's mother -- and George William Wahl in Ms. Farrar's apartment Monday night.

Police said the two were stabbed to death last Thursday, but their bodies weren't discovered until police responded to a complaining of an odor coming from the apartment at 99 Charles St. in the Bishop's Garth complex.

Both bodies were lying in pools of blood and had been stabbed many times, court documents said. Police would say nothing of the motive except that the killings could have been the result of a family dispute.

The homicides are Westminster's second and third this year.

Mr. DeLong and Miss Citroni were charged Tuesday as adults with two counts each of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, stabbing with intent to maim, and conspiracy to each of those counts.

The two were expected to be taken before a Carroll District Court commissioner late last night or this morning. A bail review hearing likely would be conducted Monday morning, court officials said.

The 14-year-old could be taken to the Charles W. Hickey School in Cub Hill or released to the custody of his parents, court officials said.

Carroll prosecutors have said little about the slayings. State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman normally would handle such a major case, but he said Tuesday that he would have no involvement in it because Mr. Wahl was his brother-in-law.

Deputy State's Attorney Edward M. Ulsch said yesterday he is evaluating whether to transfer prosecution of the case to another county.

The state could seek the death penalty against Mr. DeLong. Mr. Ulsch would not comment on whether his or any other state's attorney's office would seek it.

Prosecutors are barred by law from seeking the death penalty against the other two suspects because of their ages.

A quick succession of breaks led Westminster detectives to the three suspects hours after the bodies had been discovered.

According to police in Westminster and South Florida, the 14-year-old runaway was arrested Monday after destroying Ms. Farrar's 1980 Chevrolet Chevette outside of St. Augustine, Fla., nearly 800 miles south of Westminster. The youth, who had Ms. Farrar's automated teller machine bank card, told St. John's County sheriff's deputies that he had dropped Miss Citroni and Mr. DeLong at a shopping center several hours earlier.

Authorities said that the youth told deputies about a Baltimore County man who could provide more information about Ms. Farrar's car and bank card.

While Westminster Det. Michael Augerinos interviewed the Baltimore County man, Westminster Lt. Dean Brewer and Det. Wayne Mann were seeking Mr. DeLong and Miss Citroni, who were attempting to hitchhike the 220 miles south to Mr. DeLong's home town of Jupiter.

As the result of a bulletin prompted by Westminster police, Mr. DeLong and Miss Citroni were arrested about 4:15 a.m. Wednesday by Jupiter Police Officer Rick Hubbard. The two were taken into custody without incident. They were taken to the Palm Beach County jail and remained there until Lieutenant Brewer and Detective Mann picked them up yesterday to return to Westminster.

Detective Robert Harbar of the Jupiter Police Department said that Mr. DeLong's father lives in Jupiter and has been told about his son's arrest.

Mr. DeLong moved to Maryland from Jupiter to be with his mother about a year ago, he said.

Little is known about how Mr. DeLong and his mother got along, but he had at least one brush with the law earlier this year while he was a student at Francis Scott Key High for lighting firecrackers under a cafeteria table, court records said.

The incident led to charges of possession of illegal fireworks, discharging fireworks, reckless endangerment and disturbing the peace. Mr. DeLong was given probation before judgment in the case last month, records say.

Mr. Wahl, 35, a crew member at the Westminster McDonald's restaurant, was buried yesterday in Westminster Cemetery. About 75 people -- including about two dozen from the state's attorney's office -- attended a graveside service.

Funeral services and burial for Ms. Farrar, 39, a nurse's aide, will be private.

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