Couple mourned as judge refuses bail for grandson

August 20, 1994|By Sandy Banisky and Howard Libit | Sandy Banisky and Howard Libit,Sun Staff Writers Sun staff writers Melody Simmons, Peter Hermann, Michael James and Joel Obermayer contributed to this article.

At the moment that Walter and Mary Loch were being eulogized for their goodness in a Charles Village church yesterday morning, their 30-year-old grandson was standing in a Baltimore District courtroom, listening as a judge called him "a danger to society" and denied him bail on charges in the slaying of his grandparents.

Michael Edward Joseph Reiriz, dressed in black denim shorts and an off-white T-shirt, walked into the Eastside District courtroom just before 11 a.m., leading a chain of 13 shackled defendants into the first row of wooden benches.

Early Thursday, he had been charged in the beating deaths of Mr. Loch, 88, and Mrs. Loch, 81, both doctors, whose bodies were found in their Guilford home Sunday. Police said he confessed to bludgeoning his grandparents in a dispute over money.

The charges left Mr. Reiriz's old friends from St. Paul's, a private school in Baltimore County, stunned. Yesterday, they remembered Mr. Reiriz, known as "Ted," as an average guy -- "fun," "normal" -- not a troublemaker or a person with a temper.

"When I look at him on television, I don't recognize him," said Jeff Natterman, who was best man at Mr. Reiriz's wedding. "I'm afraid people are going to think of somebody [Ted] one way, and it's just not Ted."

In court yesterday, Mr. Reiriz, a former St. Paul's choirboy, sat with his shoulders hunched and gazed at the floor.

At 11:25 a.m., he and his lawyer, John H. Doud, stood before Judge Joseph A. Ciotola Sr.. "He didn't seem to respond when I called his name," the judge said, asking Mr. Doud if his client was being treated for "a disorder."

"I think he's distraught," Mr. Doud answered, saying Mr. Reiriz "hasn't slept for days."

In court Thursday, when asked if he had a drug or alcohol problem, Mr. Reiriz answered that he had a problem with alcohol.

Judge Ciotola set a preliminary hearing for Sept. 15. Mr. Doud declined to tell reporters how his client would plead. "It's a little early for that," he said outside the courtroom.

At the same time that reporters and photographers were converging on the court building, about 250 mourners were arriving at SS. Philip and James Roman Catholic Church, 2801 N. Charles St., for the funeral of Mr. Reiriz's grandparents.

"We are standing in the face of evil and heartbreaking tragedy," said the Rev. William Au. "We are here to assert that tragedy and evil must not be allowed to block out the goodness of their lives.

"Their lives deserve to be celebrated," Father Au said, calling the Lochs "far more than victims of a crime. The good of their lifetimes is far more powerful than any evil or tragedy that could overshadow their lives.

"Their goodness," he added, "also makes it possible to create redemption for the person who took their lives."

Mr. Reiriz was not mentioned by name in the church.

His friend, Mr. Natterman, said he was having great difficulty reconciling the Ted he knew with the man charged in the killings.

"The Ted Reiriz that I know couldn't have done that," Mr. Natterman said.

"It's very hard for us," he said, referring to Mr. Reiriz's old friends. "We know him as a very outgoing, personable, intelligent, amiable kind of guy. It's just very difficult for us, our family and friends who know him."

Mr. Reiriz is godfather to Mr. Natterman's daughter.

"It just doesn't compute. It's like trying to look at a 3-D movie without those glasses, so the colors get all blurred. I walk around thinking about it and can't make sense of it," Mr. Natterman said.

According to classmates, Mr. Reiriz was "a lifer," a student who spent all his elementary, middle and high school years at St. Paul's.

He began school as "Teddy McCarthy" -- his father's surname. He changed his name after his mother, Helen, married Mario Reiriz in 1975, when the boy was 11. For part of his school years, friends remember, young Ted would get off the school bus in Guilford where his grandparents lived.

Former classmates say he was a likable, average guy. "He wasn't a trouble-maker," one old friend said. "He was fun."

"I don't remember him having a temper at all," said Rob Irving, who knew Mr. Reiriz at St. Paul's. "He was a nice guy."

"He was always very friendly and upbeat," said George Linthicum, another classmate. "He played football, offensive lineman."

He was short-haired and liked new wave music, Mr. Linthicum said.

And Mr. Reiriz sang in the school choir, traveling to England and France with the group.

L "He's a smart guy. He was a good tenor," Mr. Natterman said.

After graduating from St. Paul's in 1982, Mr. Reiriz attended Towson State University, Mr. Natterman said.

"He went there for quite a while. He worked hard at getting a degree," studying psychology. But he never graduated, his friend said.

And his marriage, to Sherry Richards, didn't work out. A friend said the couple divorced about two years ago.

His mother's marriage to Mr. Reiriz ended in divorce in 1988, according to court records. A source close to the family, who asked not to be named, said yesterday that Ted Reiriz was a soothing force in a sometimes bitter contest that included a custody fight over his half-brother, Mario Jose, now 17.

"He was a real clean-cut guy," the source said. "He was close to Mario and Helen and worked both sides of the fence to help settle it."

Mr. Reiriz has been employed as a mental health worker at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital since 1988 and was living in Perry Hall.

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