Annapolis woman pleads guilty as accessory in stabbing death She helped dump body, set car afire in murder committed in 1994

January 24, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

An Annapolis woman pleaded guilty yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court to being an accessory in the murder of a woman who was stabbed 58 times and left to die in the back seat of a car.

Wanda R. Hall, 32, of the 1000 block of Bay Ridge Road drove the car while Richard E. Janey stabbed Susan McAteer. She then helped him dump the body in the woods and torch the car.

Hall pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to second-degree murder, malicious burning and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. She could be sentenced to a maximum of 14 years in prison Feb. 20 by Judge Bruce C. Williams.

"She took no active part in the murder, but covered up evidence afterwards," said Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone, who will seek the maximum prison term.

Hall initially was charged with first-degree murder. But J. Michael Wachs, Hall's attorney, said that if she had been tried on a murder charge, he would have presented evidence showing that Hall feared Janey, set the car afire on his orders and was beaten by him after the murder.

Janey of the 100 block of Obery Court in Annapolis was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he was convicted in September of second-degree murder.

Mr. Paone said that the three people were riding in a borrowed 1993 Chrysler LeBaron on Dec. 21, 1994, when Janey and Ms. McAteer began quarreling about his pager and about Ms. McAteer having broken a date with him.

Janey, who dated both women, stabbed Ms. McAteer as she sat in the back seat.

An autopsy showed that Ms. McAteer bled to death while Janey and Hall drove around looking for a place to hide the body, Mr. Paone said.

Ms. McAteer's body was found nearly a week later.

Janey, who had been convicted twice in July 1994 of beating Ms. McAteer, called police four hours after the body was found to deny any involvement and to point the finger at Hall, according to court testimony.

Ms. McAteer's family was in court yesterday but declined comment afterward.

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