Man held in slaying is hospitalized

April 19, 1995|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Sun Staff Writer

A man accused of murder in the death of his late mother's best friend collapsed as homicide detectives questioned him Monday night, and his alleged accomplice was held without bail yesterday and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

James Calvert McGee, 41, of the 200 block of Victor Parkway in Annapolis remained in critical condition at North Arundel Hospital yesterday. A hospital spokesman refused to describe Mr. McGee's ailment.

Mr. McGee and Richard Wayne Willoughby Jr., 35, of the first block of Melrob Court in Annapolis are charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Katherine Huntt Ryon, 74, of the 400 block of Waggamon Circle.

A neighbor found Ms. Ryon's body about 9:15 p.m. Sunday. She had been strangled, police said.

Yesterday, District Judge Clayton Greene Jr. ordered a psychiatric evaluation for Mr. Willoughby after the suspect said he suffered from schizophrenia, paranoia and heard voices.

Mr. McGee was arrested outside his home Monday night. About the same time, homicide detectives picked up Mr. Willoughby at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Both men were charged after Mr. McGee told detectives that he and Mr. Willoughby choked Ms. Ryon and strangled her with a dog leash, according to District Court charging documents.

County detectives said they started looking for the men after they found Mr. McGee's fingerprint on a light bulb outside Ms. Ryon's door and after learning that Annapolis police had stopped the suspects in the victim's car Saturday night.

Annapolis police impounded the car. The suspects claimed they had been the victims of a robbery, according to an Annapolis police report.

Police believe the suspects first tried to pry open Ms. Ryon's side door, then broke a window and unlocked the door. The suspects also unscrewed an outside light bulb, police said.

When detectives searched the home, they found it had been ransacked. Bloodstains and broken glass were in the living room, along with Ms. Ryon's broken eyeglasses. She may have been strangled in the living room or another room, then moved to the bedroom, police spokesman Sgt. Mark Howes said.

Police think Ms. Ryon was killed Saturday night, a few hours before Annapolis police Officer Mark Ottey found the battered and bloody suspects sitting in her 1990 Volvo in the 1300 block of Tyler Ave. The suspects said they had been attacked and robbed.

Mr. Willoughby, who was driving the car, was treated at Anne Arundel Medical Center and released. He told Officer Ottey that a friend had let him use the Volvo, police said. Police towed the car because Mr. Willoughby had been taken to the hospital, said Maj. Norman Randall, a spokesman for the Annapolis Police Department.

In his report, Officer Ottey said he had contacted Ms. Ryon about the towing of her car, leading some to believe that she was alive when the report was written at 11:40 p.m. Saturday. Yesterday, however, Major Randall said the officer never spoke to the victim.

Officer Ottey radioed police communications and asked officers there to contact Ms. Ryon, but no one ever contacted the victim, Major Randall said, and Officer Ottey assumed contact had been made.

According to District Court records, Mr. McGee lived in the 400 block of Waggamon Circle, the same block where Ms. Ryon lived, in 1992.

Mr. McGee's mother and Ms. Ryon were best friends, said Sergeant Howes.

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