2 men indicted in Shore killing

Brothers also charged with hate crime in shooting of woman, 73

January 14, 2000|By Rafael Alvarez | Rafael Alvarez,SUN STAFF

Two Kent County brothers have been indicted on charges of murder and a hate crime in the Dec. 4 shotgun death of a 73-year-old black grandmother who was killed while returning from Christmas shopping near her Eastern Shore home.

A county grand jury indicted the two white men from Millington -- David Wayne Starkey, 24, and Daniel Robert Starkey, 20 -- on Jan. 6.

The brothers -- one a carpenter and the younger sibling a truck driver -- are accused of killing retired school bus driver Germaine P. Clarkston of Georgetown after chasing her car for 21 miles through eastern Kent County.

"It doesn't change anything," said Linwood G. "Buster" Clarkston Jr., 55, the victim's son, by telephone last night from his Chestertown home. "It doesn't put my mom back on this Earth, and it doesn't take the pain out of my heart. It's an indictment, that's all. I'll have a reaction when I hear the judge deliver a sentence. This case is severe, and I'm looking for severe punishment."

Daniel Starkey told police he was driving the pickup and David was in the passenger seat, according to the charging document. The document said David told Daniel that they would follow the Clarkston car to a back road and "take them off."

Daniel has told police, the charging document said, that David fired two shots in the direction of the car.

The charging document said David Starkey has acknowledged firing two slugs from a double-barreled shotgun at the car. The shotgun was recovered by the FBI.

The case was investigated by the FBI as a civil rights violation.

Kent County State's Attorney Robert H. Strong Jr., who sought the indictments, could not be reached last night.

Clarkston was killed as she and a cousin, Meriam G. Spriggs, 67, and Spriggs' daughter, Michelle Y. Wilson, 38, were driving home from Christmas shopping in Dover, Del.

Near Millington in Kent County, a late-model Ford pickup truck began to follow their Plymouth, according to police.

Spriggs and Wilson, who survived the attack, told detectives that the truck began aggressively tailgating their car, honking its horn, flashing its lights and repeatedly passing them in a chase that lasted for about 30 minutes.

The incident began about 6: 30 p.m., and the survivors told police that it was too dark for them to see who was in the truck.

As Wilson pulled into Clarkston's Georgetown neighborhood, the truck pulled alongside the Plymouth, and two or three shotgun blasts tore through the driver's side of the car.

Clarkston, who was wounded in the hip and suffered severe internal injuries, died two days later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

Spriggs and Wilson were treated at Kent and Queen Anne's Hospital in Chestertown and released.

Several of Clarkston's neighbors, who were stringing Christmas lights on their homes when they heard the shots, saw the pickup speed away and called 911.

The Starkeys were arrested by sheriff's deputies, state police and the FBI on Dec. 9 in Millington after authorities received more than 30 tips about the case.

One of 12 children, Clarkston spent most of her life in the neighborhood of 50 homes on a rural, mile-long stretch of Georgetown Road about halfway between Chestertown and Rock Hall.

The community is believed to be among Maryland's oldest African-American settlements, where free blacks, slaves and former slaves began living after the War of 1812.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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