Woman is convicted of murder in stabbings of Rosedale couple

September 03, 1999|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County Circuit Court jury convicted a 40-year-old woman last night of two counts of first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of an elderly Rosedale couple, who were killed after they returned home from a meal on Thanksgiving Day.

Jeanne Sue Cascio of the 6700 block of Havenoak Road in the eastern part of the county also was convicted of two counts of armed robbery, two counts of common-law robbery, accessory after the fact to murder and possession of heroin.

Cascio's boyfriend, Lawrence Michael Borchardt Sr. of the Havenoak Road address, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Nov. 26 deaths of Joseph Ohler, 81, and his wife, Bernice Ohler, 82. He will be tried Nov. 29. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.

In closing arguments yesterday -- the final day of the four-day trial -- defense attorney Donald E. Zaremba said that Cascio was not present when the Ohlers were stabbed.

Zaremba told the jury that none of Cascio's fingerprints, clothing fibers or hair was found at the Ohlers' home.

"There is not a molecule from the crime scene that was subsequently found on the person of Jeanne Cascio," he said.

In presenting their case, prosecutors said the Ohlers first encountered Cascio and Borchardt when the pair were begging for money in the couple's neighborhood, telling people they needed it for breast cancer treatment for Cascio.

The Ohlers gave Cascio and Borchardt $60, and Borchardt wrote a note saying they would repay the money, prosecutors said. Cascio's Social Security card was left with the Ohlers as collateral.

Prosecutors said that Cascio and Borchardt bought what turned out to be imitation drugs with the $60. On Thanksgiving, they returned to the Ohlers' home in search of more money and killed them, prosecutors said.

In his closing argument, Assistant State's Attorney Andy Alperstein said that Cascio helped kill the Ohlers. "Who's holding Mrs. Ohler while somebody is stabbing Mr. Ohler 11 times?" Alperstein said. "This had to have been done by two people. There is no way that one person could control these two people."

The maximum sentence Cascio could be given would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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