Former witness in murder case charged with armed robbery Westminster man accused of assault and battery

January 22, 1996|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,SUN STAFF

A Westminster man who was a key witness last year for prosecutors trying Carroll County's first drug-related murder case was arrested early Friday on an armed robbery charge, police said.

Keith Edward Goins, 22, was charged with armed robbery, assault with intent to rob, assault, battery and conspiracy. He also was charged with two counts associated with possession of a deadly weapon.

Mr. Goins, who is out on $20,000 bail, testified last year about how his friend, Gregory Lamont Howard, was killed by Timothy Cumberland on Center Street on Jan. 28, 1993.

During the trial, prosecutors and Mr. Goins described Mr. Howard, 22, as a peacemaker who tried to calm Cumberland after he was sold soap flakes instead of cocaine.

Cumberland, 26, of Reisterstown was convicted of second-degree murder Nov. 7. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 31.

In court documents supporting the armed robbery charges, police said Douglas Neil Utz and Raymond Glenn Chaffman went to the Westminster Sheetz store to purchase cigarettes about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 11.

On the way home, the men's car got stuck in snow on Madison Street near East Green Street in Westminster.

Three men -- whom Mr. Chaffman recognized -- drove up in a Chevrolet Cavalier.

Police said that after the three men got out of the car, one put a gun to Mr. Chaffman's neck and demanded money.

When Mr. Chaffman said he had none, the three pushed him to the ground and began to kick him, police said.

Police said that one of the men put a gun to Mr. Utz's head and also demanded money. Mr. Utz gave the men, who continued to beat Mr. Chaffman, a $100 bill. Police said when Mr. Utz tried to help his friend, the men pointed a gun at him again and told him not to interfere.

L The three got back in their car and drove away, police said.

Police said Mr. Chaffman's right eye was swollen after the beating and his head and face had bumps and some bleeding.

Lt. Randy Barnes of Westminster City Police said warrants have been issued for two other men, who are still at large.

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