Murder suspect taken from city

Glen Burnie man, 39, arraigned after moved from Baltimore jail

January 24, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt and Andrea F. Siegel | Laura Barnhardt and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A Glen Burnie man accused of killing his landlady and her daughter-in-law, then hiding their bodies in a car trunk, was taken to Anne Arundel County yesterday, where a court commissioner ordered him held without bail. Kenneth E. Abend had been held in Baltimore City Detention Center since Jan. 13 on burglary and weapons charges.

City prosecutors dropped the charges yesterday so that the 39-year-old unemployed man could be transported to Anne Arundel County, where he was charged Jan. 15 with two counts of first-degree murder.

After being released in Baltimore yesterday afternoon, county police served Abend with a warrant charging him with the fatal shootings of 70-year-old Laverne May Browning, and her 36-year-old daughter-in-law, Tamie Christine Browning.

Randy Browning - Laverne Browning's son and Tamie Browning's husband - reported the women missing Jan 14. That night, the women's bodies were discovered in the trunk of a car abandoned at a Glen Burnie apartment complex- the younger woman naked, witnesses said. Both women were shot in the upper body.

City charges dropped

Abend was arrested by Baltimore police Jan. 13 and was charged with breaking into the rowhouse of an acquaintance, Hector Silva, in southern Baltimore. Abend had a 5-inch hunting knife in his pocket, police said.

Deputy State's Attorney Haven H. Kodeck said the lesser charges were dropped after consulting with Silva in the burglary, but city prosecutors could reinstate the charges.

"He fully agreed that it be handled this way," Kodeck said.

"Not to diminish the seriousness of the burglary, but the violent crime of a double homicide certainly takes priority."

Abend was processed in the county's eastern district station in Pasadena and was arraigned in District Court in Glen Burnie. Escorted by a police officer, he walked slowly, his legs shackled and his wrists cuffed.

Abend, in maroon jail garb, spoke softly as he told District Court Commissioner Janice E. Barnett that he worked last year for a Severn roofer, had no drug or alcohol problem - despite a history of drug-related arrests - and had no income. He sat quietly during the hearing. Barnett denied bail on the first-degree murder charges and set bail at $250,000 on an earlier charge of first-degree assault of Laverne Browning, which was lodged when she was reported missing.

Abend, being held in county jail, will have a bail review hearing this afternoon in District Court in Annapolis.

Charging documents offered little new information about the crime.

But a police application for charges in the assault case said, "Randy Browning told police that he heard from an associate that his mother, Laverne Browning, had been shot" and that when he went to his mother's home he saw blood inside.

Car missing

County police said yesterday that detectives are investigating the double homicide.

Although detectives found blood and bullet casings at Laverne Browning's house in the 200 block of Margate Drive, police said they did not find a gun.

Also, Laverne Browning's black 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo remained missing yesterday.

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