Convict charged in slaying of parents

November 30, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

A convict was charged last night with shooting his parents to death in a November 1993 attack at their Essex area home -- a crime he allegedly tried to disguise as a burglary gone bad, Baltimore County police said.

James Garland Finneyfrock, 29, who is serving time on unspecified convictions at the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup, was removed from the prison and formally charged about 10 o'clock last night, said E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman.

His parents, Wade and Susan Finneyfrock, were found dead Nov. 13, 1993, of multiple gunshot wounds at their modest, one-story house in the 2300 block of Poplar Road, across from Sue Creek. James Finneyfrock, who lived with his parents, claimed to have discovered the bodies and had run hysterically to a neighbor's house for help.

At the time, he told police that he had found the bodies after he returned home from a nearby tavern. The murder weapon was a rifle that was kept in the house, police said.

Police said last night that they believed early on that the burglary was staged and that they focused their attention on the son. The motive for the crime was unclear, police said.

"He had been a prime suspect since early on," Mr. Miller said.

A Baltimore County grand jury indicted James Finneyfrock on Monday on two counts of murder, Mr. Miller said. He declined to discuss the evidence presented to the grand jury.

James Finneyfrock was interviewed by homicide detectives last night and charged, then was returned to the House of Correction where he will be held pending trial, police said.

Neighbors reported that the son had run to their door on the night of the killings, appearing upset and shouting for someone to call 911 because his mother had been hurt.

Mr. Finneyfrock, 54, who was retired from the Navy, was found shot to death just inside the door. His wife, 51, was found lying just outside the house in the rural waterfront community of Cedar Beach. A Browning 12-gauge shotgun and a Black Knight black powder rifle were missing from the residence, police said.

An anonymous group of citizens offered a $5,000 reward in the case.

The slayings were featured on a WBAL television news broadcast earlier this year, in which James Finneyfrock was interviewed and said that he was shocked about his parents' deaths.

"There's a lot of crazy people out there," James Finneyfrock said on the program.

Information was unavailable last night on what James Finneyfrock was convicted of and serving time for. He had been arrested in June on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and robbery with a deadly weapon, court records showed.

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