Carroll County Digest

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

February 20, 2003

Juvenile charges allowed in rape case against teen-ager

The state may pursue juvenile charges against a Taneytown-area teen-ager accused of raping several former friends, according to the Carroll County juvenile master, who nonetheless criticized prosecutors for their delay in filing new charges after the case was sent down from Circuit Court.

Nathaniel Jared Yinger, 18, of the 2800 block of Basehores Mill Road was charged as an adult in October 2001 with multiple counts of rape, sodomy, sexual assault and assault in attacks on four girls, three of them at unsupervised teen-age drinking parties. The trial was delayed after he was injured in an automobile accident in March, and on Nov. 15, a circuit judge ordered that he be tried as a juvenile.

Defense attorney Fred S. Hecker argued in motions this month that the juvenile charges should be dismissed because they were not filed within 10 days of the Circuit Court ruling. Juvenile Master Peter M. Tabatsko agreed with prosecutors that the only sanction against prosecutors that is prescribed by court rules for the delay - in this case until Dec. 30 - was a release from any incarceration, and Yinger is not being detained.

Nevertheless, Tabatsko wrote, "it is abundantly clear that the filing of the Petition so long after the Order from the Circuit Court absolutely violates the spirit of the Juvenile Statute ... and borders on arrogance or negligence." He rejected the prosecutors' explanation that they needed time to schedule witnesses and other matters.

Shooting victim's parents seeking paternity test

The parents of a truck driver found shot to death near Westminster in November have asked in Carroll County Circuit Court for a paternity test on the baby when his pregnant wife, who is jailed on charges of hiring a friend to kill her husband, gives birth.

Melissa Lynn Baumgardner Shipley, 32, who is due to give birth in April, was married to Scott Edward Shipley, 27, of Silver Run when he was killed Nov. 15. His parents, Raymond E. and Brenda Shipley of Westminster, are seeking immediate and permanent custody upon the birth of the child, whose father, by law, is presumed to be their son, according to the lawsuit.

"Based on the circumstances of this case and based on other information," the lawsuit also seeks paternity testing of the baby upon its birth to determine whether it is their son's child and whether the couple have the right to seek custody. Melissa Shipley will not be able to care for the baby while incarcerated, the suit says.

Melissa Shipley has been charged with promising to pay $5,000 to co-defendant Butchie Junior Stemple, 28, of Taneytown to kill her husband. Both have been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. No motive has been ascertained, but prosecutors have issued subpoenas for numerous bank and credit card records, according to the court files.

State grant to help pay for college's health building

The state Board of Public Works approved a $2.7 million grant yesterday that will pay more than half the cost of constructing a Nursing and Allied Health Building at Carroll Community College in Westminster.

The county will pay the remaining $1.5 million for the two-story, 28,000-square-foot building. Construction is to begin in April, and the building is to open in the summer of next year. The state awarded the project to Tech Contracting Co. Inc. of Baltimore.

Public asked to help clear snow from hydrants

The Carroll County Department of Public Works is asking for residents' help to clear snow from fire hydrants.

The fire hydrants must be visible to firefighters, and snow-removal crews must be able to see them so that the hydrants are not damaged during plowing.

To report a damaged fire hydrant, call the Bureau of Utilities at 410-386-2164.

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