Bail denied security guard charged in decapitation

Police seek information about victim's final hours

September 12, 2000|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

A 44-year-old security guard charged with decapitating an Essex woman was denied bail yesterday, while Baltimore County police spent the day trying to reconstruct the last hours of the victim' life.

Richard Lee Donnelly was charged Saturday with first-degree murder in the death of Rosemarie Shew, 38, of the first block of Avenal Road.

"I didn't do it," Donnelly said yesterday as he was being led to his bail review hearing at Towson District Court.

Police say that Donnelly of the 6600 block of Golden Ring Road in Rosedale told them that he and Shew met for the first time the night of Aug. 27 in a grocery store parking lot on Eastern Avenue, that she agreed to give him a ride in her Nissan truck, and that they began arguing.

According to police, Donnelly said he killed her by knocking her unconscious and disposed of her body and her head at a Reisterstown construction site. Workers discovered her body the morning of Aug. 28.

Donnelly told Chief District Court Judge Michael L. McCampbell that he deserved to receive bail, saying he had received an honorable discharge from the Army and does not have a criminal record. "I have never been in trouble in my life," said Donnelly.

Donnelly - who quit a job July 28 as a security guard for a Loch Raven apartment complex and shopping center - said that he planned to request a public defender. He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

About 5 p.m. yesterday, police found a skull believed to be Shew's in a ditch off the southbound shoulder of Interstate 795 between McDonogh Road and the Metro Station near Owings Mills Boulevard, said Bill Toohey, a police spokesman. The skull was turned over to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for identification.

The skull was found about 3 miles south of where Shew's body was discovered.

Police said they have not yet found the weapon used to kill her. Investigators are trying to determine what happened the night of Aug. 27, using information other than that provided by Donnelly.

Police say they believe that Donnelly killed Shew in her car, which was recovered Aug. 30.

According to state police records, Donnelly had been a security guard since 1975. He also had a valid handgun permit, which was revoked yesterday, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman.

Two former employers - who asked to not be identified - described Donnelly as someone who was dependable,but was regularly fired from jobs. He was forced to leave his job in Loch Raven, his supervisor said, because he refused to back up other security guards during incidents.

They described Donnelly as someone who liked to pretend he was a police officer, wearing a Baltimore County police badge.

Another employer reported no behavior problems and said that Donnelly had passed a background check.

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