Deputies in Harford County scale back search for fugitive Convicted killer wanted on outstanding warrants

November 03, 1998|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

Harford County sheriff's deputies scaled back a search yesterday for a convicted murderer considered armed and dangerous, after a weekend-long manhunt failed to snare him.

Richard Vito Genna, 35, of an unknown address is being sought on warrants for nonsupport, violation of probation and failure to appear in court.

Genna and his 28-year-old girlfriend, Barbara Estelle Gamache, ran from deputies Friday and disappeared in Joppatowne. Genna had run from a traffic stop more than a week before and a weapon was found in his car.

Over the most recent weekend, police combed the area where Genna was last seen and beefed up patrols to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters. Officials said Genna vowed to "shoot a cop first" if police tried to arrest him.

Genna was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to seven years in prison after shooting his brother in 1983.

In 1996, Genna was convicted of possession of a controlled dangerous substance and given a four-year sentence with all but six months suspended. State officials said he served that six months and also was given three years' probation.

Baltimore County police arrested Gamache about 1 a.m. Saturday, but Harford deputies did not find Genna. Officials said Gamache was wanted on credit-card theft charges and had been hiding at a friend's home in Joppatowne.

"She convinced a male occupant of the home to take her down into Baltimore County, and we received information she was down there," said Sgt. Edward Hopkins, sheriff's spokesman.

Officials arrested a man Sunday and charged him with making a false report after police said he claimed to be Genna.

Police said Robert Joseph Stinebaugh, 33, of the 1800 block of Steven Drive in Edgewood, phoned the Sheriff's Office claiming to be Genna and saying he wanted to surrender. Hopkins said Stinebaugh ran when deputies came to get him, but later was arrested. He was released yesterday, Hopkins said.

Pub Date: 11/03/98

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