Police find no evidence of Palczynski accomplices

Woman to be arraigned on federal gun charges

March 31, 2000|By Michael James and Nancy A. Youssef | Michael James and Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County police said yesterday they have found no evidence that anyone helped Joseph C. Palczynski elude police for 10 days after a string of killings this month.

Police said they believe that Palczynski was on the move the whole time, hiding in a heavily wooded area of eastern Baltimore County.

"We have not found any evidence yet that anyone helped [Palczynski]," said Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman.

Also yesterday, Constance Ann Waugh, the Essex woman charged with purchasing the guns that police say Palczynski used to kill four people, has been found mentally competent to stand trial.

Waugh, 48, is scheduled to be arraigned at 10 a.m. today in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge James K. Bredar.

Waugh is charged with violating federal firearms statutes. She is accused of making false statements when she purchased two guns for Palczynski on March 6.

Waugh appeared before Bredar on March 13, but appeared dazed and had trouble responding to his questions. The judge ordered a psychological evaluation.

Bredar issued an order yesterday saying that Dr. Neil Blumberg, the Timonium psychiatrist who evaluated Waugh, concluded that she is competent to be tried.

Blumberg found that Waugh's delirium March 13 was due to her sudden withdrawal from the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

Bredar was sharply critical of the way Waugh's incarceration was handled, saying she wasn't given her medication while being held by the U.S. Marshal's Service at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

Elizabeth Quick, assistant chief of the marshal's service, declined to comment on the judge's order, saying she had not seen it.

Police say Palczynski, a 31-year-old unemployed electrician, killed three people and abducted his estranged girlfriend, Tracy Whitehead, from a Bowleys Quarters apartment on the evening of March 7. Whitehead escaped the next night, after Palczynski allegedly killed a passing motorist during an attempted carjacking.

He was not seen again until March 10, when he traveled to Virginia, then forced William L. Terrell, 54, of Woodford, Va., to drive him back to Baltimore County.

During their 14-hour ride, Terrell said Palczynski told him the only person who aided him during his time on the run was a woman whom he paid to drive him to Virginia.

Police found Palczynski the night of March 17, when he went to the 7500 block of Lange St. in Dundalk and took Whitehead's mother, her mother's boyfriend and her mother's boyfriend's son hostage in their apartment. A standoff with police ended March 21, when Lynn Whitehead and Andy McCord escaped and police stormed the house, killing Palczynski and rescuing 12-year-old Bradley McCord.

Sun staff writer Dennis O'Brien contributed to this article.

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