Jury selection expected for man accused in double slaying

August 15, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

Jury selection was expected to begin today in Carroll Circuit Court in the first-degree murder trial of a 19-year-old Westminster man accused of killing his mother and her boyfriend last year.

The trial -- in which prosecutors will seek a sentence of life without parole against Jason Aaron DeLong if he is convicted -- could last for more than two weeks and is expected to include testimony from co-defendant Sara Elizabeth Citroni, an 18-year-old from Reisterstown who last month pleaded guilty to the killings.

The bodies of Cathryn Brace Farrar -- Mr. DeLong's mother -- and her boyfriend, George William Wahl, were found by Westminster police in August 1993. The pair had been stabbed repeatedly -- Ms. Farrar more than 80 times and Mr. Wahl more than 40.

Mr. DeLong and Citroni were arrested in South Florida several days after the killings, Westminster's first double slaying in seven years.

Mr. DeLong has said he was a victim of battered child syndrome. His defense will focus on a claim of insanity that he will say was brought on after years of relentless physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his mother, Luther C. West, Mr. DeLong's Baltimore defense attorney, has said in interviews.

At Citroni's plea hearing last month, prosecutors described how the killings were planned and carried out.

Citroni and Mr. DeLong met at Cranberry Mall in Westminster, said Mr. West.

Citroni was a distraught runaway who was a model student until her mother's death two years earlier; Mr. DeLong was an abused, emotionally shattered young man who believed nobody loved him. They apparently hit it off instantly, Mr. West said.

On July 29, 1993, Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney Ara Crowe said at Citroni's plea hearing, Mr. DeLong walked into Ms. Farrar's apartment and gave his mother a cup of coffee in the kitchen. A hunting knife was plunged repeatedly into Ms. Farrar's back, neck and head, Mr. Crowe said.

Mr. Crowe said Citroni was in the living room stabbing Mr. Wahl with a folding knife that occasionally closed and cut her fingers.

When Mr. Wahl lay dead, Ms. Farrar was stabbed repeatedly until long after she was dead, Mr. Crowe said.

Citroni will get no more than two consecutive life sentences when Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. passes sentence Sept. 16. If the jury convicts Mr. DeLong on all counts -- including two counts of first-degree murder -- he could get life without parole.

Mr. Wahl, 35, was a brother-in-law of Carroll State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman.

Baltimore prosecutors are prosecuting the case because of Mr. Hickman's relationship to Mr. Wahl.

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