Carroll Digest

Carroll Digest

March 07, 2003

Carroll man charged with falsely claiming terrorist poison plot

A 38-year-old Carroll County man has been charged with lying to authorities about supposed terrorist activities by falsely claiming that his roommate planned to put rat poison in food at the market where he works, according the state police at the Westminster barracks.

John William Tyler of the 700 block of Humbert Schoolhouse Road in northern Carroll County surrendered yesterday afternoon, after state and federal agencies had spent three days investigating what seemed to be a believable report, police said. Tyler was awaiting an appearance before a District Court commissioner on three charges of making false statements and one charge of fraud for allegedly giving a false name in a call to the barracks Monday afternoon.

The caller reported an imminent terrorist plot, the police said. He claimed to have overheard his roommate and co-worker, an Indonesian immigrant, talking on the telephone about putting poison into food when he received orders to do so and claimed to have seen him crushing solid poison into powder, the police said. A false report of a terrorist threat is a felony and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Wife accused in death indicted on more charges

A Carroll County woman, accused of murder in the fatal shooting of her truck driver husband, was indicted yesterday by a grand jury on additional charges of forging his name and trying to cash in a life insurance policy before and after his death Nov. 15.

The new charges against Melissa Lynn Baumgardner Shipley allege that she made a false statement Oct. 16 on an application for insurance; she attempted to make a false statement and process a $100,000 life insurance policy on her husband between Oct. 23 and Nov. 14; she attempted to steal $92,000 from the life insurance company between Nov. 23 and Nov. 25; and she forged her husband's name on an insurance document to change the name of the beneficiary Oct. 16.

Shipley, 32, of the 1900 block of Blacks Schoolhouse Road in Silver Run was charged in November with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the use of a handgun in a felony in the death of 27-year-old Scott E. Shipley, who was found lying by his cement-tanker truck at the Gross Trucking company near Westminster. Also charged with those offenses was Butchie Junior Stemple, 28, of Taneytown, the alleged gunman, who allegedly was to have been paid $5,000. He was not named yesterday in the new charges.

Jan. ruling dismisses warden slur complaint

Carroll County Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning, the warden of the county detention center and a lieutenant who works at the jail said yesterday they are satisfied with the resolution of a federal complaint that the officer filed after the warden used a racist term in a July 1999 conversation.

Lt. Salvertore Brown filed a federal lawsuit in July 2001 alleging a racially hostile working environment. It was dismissed Jan. 16 on an order by a U.S. District Court judge, who ruled on a motion to decide the case without trial in the sheriff's favor.

Lt. Col. George R. Hardinger said he was new to the department as warden at the Carroll County Detention Center and didn't know Brown well when he asked him the meaning of a phrase that he had heard in his youth from a racist relative.

"I will always feel bad that Lieutenant Brown was offended," said Hardinger, who was dropped as a defendant in the lawsuit because he was not the employer.

Brown, 36, has been in the department for nine years and continued working in his post as a supervisor while the complaint went through the administrative process and into the courts. He said he is satisfied with the results, does not regret filing the action and, "I'm very comfortable working here."

The experience "strengthened all of us personally and professionally, and strengthened the agency," said Tregoning, who was the lone defendant remaining in the long-running civil action. Apologies were offered soon after the incident, he said and an increased emphasis has been placed on sensitivity training.

State to aid request to enlarge waterline

The state will accommodate Carroll's request to enlarge a waterline scheduled for construction next month through Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville, state officials said yesterday.

The county will contribute $128,100 to the nearly $2 million pipeline, and the amount will be included in a description of the project that goes for approval before the state Board of Public Works on March 19.

"This project has to be approved by the board, but it seems to me that it will benefit both the state and the county," said Michael Wojton, project director for water and wastewater at the Maryland Environmental Service.

The county has asked the state to widen by 4 inches a proposed 12-inch pipeline planned along Main Street at the hospital. The line will benefit the $60 million police training center set to open on former Springfield property this fall. Enlarging the line would enhance Carroll's fire protection capabilities, improve water pressure in the town and provide the county with a backup should problems occur in its system, officials said.

The county has a contract to provide the state up to 400,000 gallons of water a day at Springfield, but current use is about half that amount. Demand could increase by as much as 150,000 gallons a day once the center is fully in operation.

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