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Suspect gives police details of 4 slayings Metheny's lawyer says he wants to stop killing

'Great deal of remorse'

Defense attorney says man changes on drugs, alcohol

December 21, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

He lived in now vacant rowhouses in Brooklyn, under the Patapsco River bridge in a community of homeless men called "Tent City," then in a trailer at the pallet company. He has an 11-year-old son in foster care.

Co-workers describe a complex personality. In one respect, he is a gentle giant nicknamed "Tiny," standing more than 6 feet tall and weighing 230 pounds. He got rid of his scruffy beard and shaved his head several weeks ago.

He loves to draw large cartoon characters and play video games. But he also has a temper and threatened co-workers and patrons of an Arbutus bar where he hung out and played pool.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

He drank heavily, going through a bottle of Southern Comfort whiskey each night in his run-down trailer, furnished with two chairs, a couch, a television set and an electric heater. He surrounded the trailer with stacked pallets.

He rarely talked about his trial in July on the double ax-murder charges. "Any time you would ask him about that, he would say he was not guilty," Joe Stein III said.

Metheny also made people laugh. "He would joke about anything," the younger Stein said. "He would say he was so low on the totem pole that he was the dirt holding the pole up. He was a pretty smart guy. He could come with solutions to problems. He's unloading the trailer, and we'd have problem stacking pallets, he would be the one who could figure out how to do it."

VTC Stein said Metheny "had a temper once in a while, but you never thought he would go that far with anything. Now nothing surprises me."

The relatives of the victims have reacted with relief and horror -- pleased someone has been charged, angry over the series of gruesome crimes.

"To think what my daughter went through that night," said John Ingrassia, father of Toni Lynn Ingrassia.

Pub Date: 12/21/96

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