Deliberations to resume tomorrow in Janey retrial Annapolis man accused of girlfriend's murder

September 28, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Jurors will return tomorrow to resume deliberating the fate of Richard E. Janey, the Annapolis man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death and burning a bloody car to hide the crime.

The nine women and three men, who listened to three days of testimony in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court trial last week, heard closing arguments and deliberated about two hours Friday before Judge Clayton R. Greene Jr. sent them home.

This is the second time Janey, 34, of the 100 block of Obery Court, is standing trial in the December 1994 slaying of Susan McAteer, 29, of the first block of Southgate Ave., also in Annapolis. The state Court of Appeals last year overturned Janey's 1995 conviction of second-degree murder and related charges when it ruled that information about Janey's prior battery conviction for beating McAteer should not have been permitted at trial.

This time, prosecutors have been unable to use evidence of what they considered an abusive relationship to show a motive or pattern in Janey's behavior. They have been able to tell jurors, however, that Janey was being sought as an escapee from a county jail work-release program when McAteer was killed.

A second person, Wanda R. Hall, 33, of the 1000 block of Bay Ridge Road, is serving 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to being an accessory after the fact to a murder, malicious burning of a car and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The defense has claimed that Hall killed McAteer and that Janey only helped hide the body.

Although both sides referred to Hall during the trial, neither called her to testify.

In closing remarks Friday, Assistant State's Attorney Frederick Paone told jurors that it is irrelevant whether it was Janey or Hall who stabbed McAteer 58 times. What mattered, he said, was that Janey was an integral part of the crime.

"Those two let her bleed to death," Paone said.

He said Janey and Hall drove around until they dumped McAteer's body in woods off Dubois Road outside Annapolis, where it was found Dec. 27, 1994, then burned the car.

"There was only one reason he destroyed the car. It isn't to help Wanda Hall. It was to help himself," Paone argued.

Janey later gave investigators varying accounts of what happened and fled when police tried to arrest him, Paone said.

Nancy Cohen, assistant public defender, told jurors that Janey admitted to helping Hall dispose of the body and setting fire to the car, but they had "no proof at all that he committed a murder."

Paone disputed that, pointing to forensic evidence and police testimony. McAteer's blood was found on Janey's jacket. Janey called a police dispatcher four hours after the body was found -- before details of the crime were made public -- to deny involvement and to point the finger at Hall.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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