Defendant indicted on murder charge in death of girl, 14

Columbia man is second accused in Nov. killing of Long Reach freshman

January 26, 2001|By Mark Ribbing | Mark Ribbing,SUN STAFF

Scott Jory Brill, one of two defendants in the Ashley Nicole Mason homicide case, was indicted yesterday by a Howard County grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder.

In a separate proceeding yesterday, a trial date was set in Howard County Circuit Court for Frederick James Moore, the other defendant in the stabbing death Nov. 3 of the 14-year-old Long Reach High School freshman.

Moore, 21, whose address has been given variously as the 6600 block of Eberle Drive in Baltimore and the 8800 block of Tamar Drive in Columbia's Long Reach village, was charged Dec. 16 with first-degree murder. Police said a 24-hour tip line received two anonymous calls indicating that Brill, 18, might have been involved in the crime.

Police reported that Brill had said he saw Moore stab Ashley, whose body was found by two delivery workers in woods behind a Pizza Hut at Route 108 and Bendix Road. Police said Ashley was last seen alive leaving a party with Brill and Moore the night before she died.

Brill was initially regarded as a witness in the case.

However, police said that in a follow-up interview with Brill on Dec. 21, he claimed to have stabbed the girl once and choked her.

Police said that was key information because they had kept confidential the fact that Ashley had been strangled as well as stabbed.

Brill, of the 5700 block of Sweetwind Place in Long Reach, was charged with first-degree murder the next day.

The families of Ashley and Brill could not be reached for comment yesterday. Grand jury proceedings are secret, and no further information on the indictment was available.

No arraignment or trial date has been set for Brill, who, like Moore, could face the death penalty if convicted.

In Howard Circuit Court, Judge Dennis M. Sweeney and attorneys for both sides set June 11 as Moore's trial date, with motions in the case scheduled to be heard May 7.

Court records state that after Brill said he had stabbed and choked Ashley, he "insisted that Moore initiated the stabbing."

Moore's attorney, Sheldon C. Mazelis of Baltimore, said yesterday that Moore had not inflicted physical injury on the girl and had no reason to do so.

"He did not know her before that night. He never even talked to her before that night," Mazelis said.

Brill is being held without bail at the Howard County Detention Center in Jessup.

To prevent the two from communicating with each other, Moore is being detained without bail in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center in Annapolis.

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