Murder defendant must grow beard for jury

September 21, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

The man accused of killing two Washington lawyers in their weekend home has been ordered to grow a beard to help a jury decide whether he looks like the person videotaped using the couple's bank card.

Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner also ruled that prosecutors can use two statements that Scotland E. Williams made to police and evidence gathered in searches of his home and a grocery bag that police said he was carrying from his house when he was arrested May 19.

Mr. Williams, 31, of the 800 block of Bradford Ave., Arnold, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jose E. Trias, 49, and Julie Noel Gilbert, 48, who were found shot to death May 16 in a bedroom of their weekend home at Winchester on the Severn.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty. The trial is scheduled to start Nov. 14.

Mr. Williams was arrested and charged after an Anne Arundel County police detective identified him from pictures taken at two Glen Burnie banks that showed a man using Mr. Trias' automated teller machine card.

In a pretrial hearing yesterday, Mr. Williams' lawyers argued that items seized after the arrest -- some bloodstained clothing, a small crowbar, a blue bandanna, a gold watch allegedly belonging to Ms. Gilbert and cigarettes similar to those at the murder scene -- were illegally seized and should not be admissible.

Linda Ostovitz, one two lawyers assigned to the case by the Maryland public defender's office, argued that the items went beyond what was specified by police when they requested the search warrant on May 19.

"There's nothing in the warrant to indicate that these kinds of things were part of the investigation," Ms. Ostovitz said.

She and Craig Gendler argued that the application for the warrant contained misleading information because it was written by Cpl. Darryl Hagner, a 27-year veteran of the Police Department, while it was actually signed by Detective Timothy R. Zywiolek, who was handling his first homicide case as a lead investigator.

But Judge Lerner denied the motion. "There really isn't any inconsistency in the application for the warrant itself," the judge said.

Judge Lerner also denied defense motions to throw out two statements that Mr. Williams made to investigators, but agreed to suppress a third statement, which Mr. Williams allegedly made before he was read his Miranda rights.

Detective Zywiolek said that when he and Detective Keith Williams first met with the defendant in a police interview room in Crownsville after his arrest, the defendant asked why he was arrested.

Detective Zywiolek testified that he and another detective spelled out the charges and showed Mr. Williams a photograph of the person who used Mr. Trias' bank card at the Maryland National Bank branch at the Glen Burnie Mall.

Detective Zywiolek testified that when he held up the photo to Mr. Williams, he responded by saying, "Yeah, that's me."

That statement was suppressed by Judge Lerner because it came before Mr. Williams was told he had the right to remain silent.

Detective Zywiolek said that after Mr. Williams was read his rights, he refused to talk and asked to see a lawyer.

As the two officers were leaving the interview room, the detective said, the accused told them, "You can't get me, I'll just say a girl gave me the card,"

Williams also mumbled to himself "I know I'm never getting out," the detective testified.

Some $2,000 in cash, wrapped in a rubber band, also was seized in the search of Mr. Williams' home, but that seizure was not contested.

Jeffrey Cover, director of the county police evidence collection unit, testified that a pair of brown gloves seized from Mr. Williams' house have been sent to FBI lab to see whether fibers in them match any fibers found at the victims' house.

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