Man testifies that he waited for friend at scene of slayings

June 27, 1997|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County man told a jury yesterday he waited in the car on a rainy January night in 1993 while his good friend, Michael S. Matusky, stabbed two women to death in their Parkville home, then watched Matusky throw the knife into a storm drain.

Richard D. White testified at Matusky's second trial on first-degree murder charges in the slayings of Gertrude Poffel, .. 75, and her daughter, Pamela Poffel, 39, who were each stabbed more than 20 times in their living room in the 2800 block of Fifth Avenue on Jan. 24, 1993.

" 'I did it, I did it. I stabbed Pam and Trude,' " White quoted Matusky as saying, as he got in the car and rode away, with the kitchen knife allegedly used in the killings tucked between his legs.

Matusky, 48, was convicted in 1994 and given two life sentences by Baltimore County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Bollinger Sr.

That conviction was overturned by the Court of Special Appeals, which ruled that hearsay statements naming Matusky as the killer should not have been admitted as testimony.

White did not testify at the first trial because his own trial in the slayings had yet to take place, and he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against forced self-incrimination. At his own trial in 1994, White was acquitted of any involvement in the

murders.

Yesterday, White admitted he committed perjury at his own trial when he testified that he waited at a nearby firehouse -- instead of outside the Poffel house -- and that he didn't know Matusky was going to kill the women.

The county state's attorney's office granted White immunity from prosecution on perjury charges.

At the time of the murders, White was the estranged husband of Pamela Poffel. He said he and Matusky had been drinking at two bars and had snorted cocaine earlier the day of the murders when Matusky told him he wanted to kill Gertrude Poffel.

White said Matusky blamed Gertrude Poffel for the 1985 suicide of his friend, Ted Poffel, her son. He also harbored resentment over what he said was the woman's meddling in financial affairs that Ted Poffel had had with Matusky's brother, Fred.

White told prosecutor Stephen E. Bailey that, after the killings, the two men drove toward the Loch Raven Boulevard area in Baltimore County, where Matusky threw the knife into a storm drain.

Pub Date: 6/27/97

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