Man found guilty of murdering girlfriend

September 02, 1995|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

A 30-year-old Annapolis man, convicted twice last year of beating up his girlfriend, was found guilty yesterday of murdering her by stabbing her 58 times, dumping her body in woods and burning the stolen car police say was used in the slaying.

Richard E. Janey of the 100 block of Obery Court was convicted by an Anne Arundel Circuit Court jury of second-degree murder, accessory to murder, conspiracy to commit murder and arson in the December 1994 death of Susan McAteer, an Annapolis woman he had dated.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated two and a half hours yesterday. Although the jury acquitted Janey of first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence, the victim's brother said he was satisfied with the verdict.

"I'm glad he'll probably be doing a substantial amount of [prison] time," said Marc McAteer, 35, who sat through the four-day trial. "But through it all, we've known nothing will bring my sister back."

Judge Bruce C. Williams could sentence Janey to at least 45 years in prison at a hearing scheduled Nov. 15.

Wanda Hall, 31, of the 1000 block of Bay Ridge Road in Annapolis also has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying. No trial date has been set in that case.

Ms. Hall has been charged with stealing the 1993 Chrysler LeBaron where police say the stabbing occurred. The car's charred remains were found shortly after the murder along Route 450 in Crownsville, according to testimony.

The body of Ms. McAteer, 29, of the first block of Southgate Ave. was discovered Dec. 27 in some woods off Dubois Road, just outside Annapolis. She had been dead about a week, according to testimony.

Janey became a focus of the investigation after police learned he had been convicted twice in July 1994 of battery for beating up Ms. McAteer, sentenced to six months for the beatings and was being sought for escape at the time of the murder.

Janey also called a police dispatcher four hours after the body was found -- and before details of the murder were released to the press -- to deny any involvement and to point the finger at Ms. Hall, according to police testimony.

Assistant state's attorney Fred Paone also emphasized in closing arguments that Janey gave relatives conflicting accounts of the murder, telling one Ms. Hall stabbed the victim outside a liquor store and another she stabbed her near a service station.

"He's covering himself already. He's trying to divert attention to other people and away from himself. Virtually all of his actions are inconsistent with those of an innocent man," Mr. Paone told jurors.

But assistant public defender James D. McCarthy, Janey's lawyer, argued that Janey admitted to burning the Chrysler after the murder to help Ms. Hall cover her tracks. But he said he consistently told everyone the same basic story of how the murder occurred.

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