Man held in slaying is parolee

March 17, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

A Laurel man accused of killing an acquaintance nearly two weeks ago during a drinking spree in the woods near the Laurel city line was paroled from a Hagerstown prison last month after serving part of a 25-year sentence for assault with intent to murder, court records show.

Donald Raymond Ingram, 33, of the first block of Ruth Ave. was being held without bail at the Howard County Detention Center last night. He was freed from the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown on Feb. 7.

He is charged with first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 25-year-old James Wayne Landon Jr., who lived in the first block of Center St. in Laurel. He also is charged with assault and battery.

A search dog team found Mr. Landon's body at the edge of a shallow pond early Tuesday morning.

Police say Ingram and Mr. Landon, who lived in nearby mobile home communities, met and decided to go drinking in woods off the 9500 block of Fulton Ave. on March 5, the day before Mr. Landon's family reported him missing.

Ingram appeared at a bail review hearing in Howard County District Court yesterday morning, where he told Judge R. Russell Sadler that he wants a public defender to represent him. The hearing is scheduled to continue today.

Ingram was arrested in February 1982 in Anne Arundel County and charged with stabbing a man with whom he had sexual relations and stealing the victim's car.

In July 1982, an Anne Arundel judge sentenced Mr. Ingram to 25 years for assault with attempt to murder and to an additional 20 years, to be served concurrently, for armed robbery. He was paroled on Oct. 13, 1988, after completing educational and vocational courses in prison.

On Feb. 5, 1992, a theft conviction landed Mr. Ingram back in the custody of the Maryland Division of Corrections for a nine-month term, and in July 1992, the Maryland Parole Commission revoked his parole, said Leonard Sipes, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Ingram's attorney appealed the theft conviction, and the case was placed on the inactive docket in August 1993. Ingram was granted another parole hearing and was freed on Feb. 7

After his release, Ingram kept in touch with parole officials. Mr. Sipes said Howard parole agents talked to Ingram March 5, the day Mr. Landon was killed. And Ingram visited the Howard

County Parole and Probation Office in Ellicott City Monday, said Tom Huelgelmeyer, a parole and probation supervisor.

Ingram was arrested at 4 p.m. Tuesday at his job at Mill Pottery Inc. in Jessup.

Police said their investigation was developed through two key people, one of whom knew the suspect and the victim. According to court records, police learned Monday that Ingram had told people in his Beech Crest Trailer Park community that he had killed a man with the last name Landon.

Ingram told the unidentified source that the two men had been drinking when Mr. Landon made an unwelcome sexual pass, and at that point Mr. Ingram told the source that he struck Mr. Landon across the face with a pipe three or four times, according to the court records.

As recently as Saturday, James Landon Sr. passed out pictures of his missing son and knocked on Laurel residents' doors, including all of the mobile homes in Ingram's block.

A forensic investigator told police that the younger Mr. Landon apparently died of "blunt force trauma to his skull area," court records show. A preliminary report from the state medical examiner's office is expected to be released today.

Members of Mr. Landon's family said yesterday that they were shaken not only by his death, but because they will not be able to have an open-casket funeral.

"We're all upset," said Sara Landon, the victim's grandmother, who lives two doors down from the mobile home Mr. Landon shared with his father. "We're not doing too good. [James Jr.] was not a bad kid. He would always come and sit with me."

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