Man, 21, indicted in girl's killing

Baltimorean Moore was charged Dec. 16 in 14-year-old's death

Columbia

January 05, 2001|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

One of the two men arrested in the November stabbing death of 14-year-old Ashley Nicole Mason was indicted yesterday on a charge of first-degree murder.

The indictment of Frederick James Moore by a Howard County grand jury comes less than three weeks after his arrest.

What evidence was presented to the panel was unclear. Grand jury proceedings are secret.

The charging documents for Moore rely largely on statements to police by Scott Jory Brill, 18, who was initially thought to be a witness. Police said he later told them he had choked the Long Reach teen-ager and stabbed her in the stomach, according to the documents.

Brill was charged with murder in Ashley's death six days after police arrested Moore, 21. Brill has not been indicted.

Ashley's body was found Nov. 3 in woods near Bendix Road and Route 108. Police said the teen-ager had been stabbed to death and dragged into the woods. At the time, they did not disclose that she also had been choked.

The case sparked community fears, and police offered an $8,000 reward.

Two anonymous tips about a month after Ashley's death led police to Brill, who was in custody for an unrelated crime, police said. He told police that he witnessed the killing but denied involvement and offered information only a witness to the crime would know.

Moore, of the 6600 block of Eberle Drive in Baltimore, was charged with murder Dec. 16.

Interviews conducted over the next few days led investigators back to Brill, court documents said. Police said Brill told the investigators he had choked Ashley and stabbed her in the abdomen, according to the court documents. He insisted, though, that Moore initiated the attack, according to the court documents.

Brill, of the 5700 block of Sweetwind Place in Long Reach village, was charged Dec. 22.

Sheldon C. Mazelis, Moore's attorney, maintains that his client was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mazelis said that Moore drove to a party with Brill and Ashley in Brill's car and was driving the car later when the assault began. Moore maintains that it was Brill, not he, who stabbed and choked Ashley, Mazelis said. The two men are acquaintances, he said.

Moore is "not the kind of person you look at and say, `Gee, he scares me,'" Mazelis said. "I found him to be very polite."

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