Ore. man faces U.S. charge of terrorizing former girlfriend from Anne Arundel Co. New nationwide statute targets interstate stalkers

September 20, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A 42-year-old Oregon man was in jail yesterday in the alleged terrorizing of an Anne Arundel County woman, making him the first person to be charged in Maryland under a new federal anti-stalking law.

Edwin Royale Carter IV of Hood River, Ore., is alleged to have doused his ex-girlfriend's Harwood home with gasoline in July after following her in a rental car on Ritchie Highway.

Under the federal charges, Carter could be sentenced to five years in prison and fined $250,000 if convicted. He is being held in a Raleigh, N.C., jail and is scheduled to appear in court there Tuesday for a probable cause and detention hearing, according to Larry K. Foust, spokesman for the FBI's Baltimore office.

FBI agents arrested Carter without incident Thursday at his sister's home in Carey, N.C., outside Raleigh, Foust said.

According to Lynne A. Battaglia, U.S. attorney for Maryland, Carter is the second person in the nation to be charged under the interstate stalking provision of the Violence Against Women Act that was passed last September and took effect in April. The law makes it a federal crime to cross state lines for the purpose of harassing or stalking, regardless of whether the victim previously obtained a protection order, she said.

In August, a Utah man pleaded guilty in federal court in Arizona to writing threatening and harassing statements to a female National Park Service employee.

The federal charges against Carter stem from a July 19 incident, according to court documents filed yesterday.

Anne Arundel County police arrested Carter after an officer spotted him hiding in bushes outside the home of his former girlfriend, Michele Allan Danoff, 35. Under state statutes, Carter was charged with first-degree arson, stalking, reckless endangerment and harassment. He was released to his sister's custody a month later and ordered to have no contact with Danoff.

When Carter was arrested in July, officers searched his rented Chevrolet Cavalier and found a yellow ledger pad behind the driver's seat, with the phrase, "Borrow gas can, kill garden." Written across another page in large letters and underlined was the word "PARASITE," according to court records.

Officers also recovered computer records from the car that included telephone numbers for a crisis counselor whom Danoff had contacted.

"NO THREATS or nastiness over phone!" the suspect wrote in one computer file, court documents show. "Revenge is best served cold, and it will be."

"We're asking that he be detained and remain in custody until he can be transported to Maryland to be prosecuted," Foust said.

According to court records, Danoff ended her relationship with Carter in May 1996. Carter is alleged to have harassed her repeatedly since, destroying and stealing her property. Police reports relating to those incidents include allegations that Carter damaged Danoff's computer and punctured her car tires.

Danoff could not be reached for comment yesterday. Her mother would not discuss the case.

Pub Date: 9/20/97

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