Woman to be tried on murder, forgery charges in one trial
A Carroll County woman accused of arranging the fatal shooting of her husband and of forging his signature to make herself the beneficiary of his life insurance policy will face both charges in a single trial, a judge has ruled.
Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. wrote that the charges against Melissa Lynn Baumgardner Shipley are so connected that the exclusion of evidence in one case would render the other one incomprehensible. Also in the order, submitted two weeks after a hearing May 19 in which the defense counsel argued for separate trials, the judge ruled that statements made by Shipley to police the day of her arrest are admissible at her trial, scheduled to begin Monday.
Shipley, 32, was arrested Nov. 26 on murder and conspiracy charges in the death of Scott E. Shipley, 27, who was found Nov. 15 at Gross Trucking in the 400 block of Lucabaugh Mill Road, Westminster. Three months later, a grand jury indicted her on forgery after she was accused of trying to cash in on her husband's $100,000 insurance policy. Butchie Junior Stemple, 28, pleaded guilty to murder and conspiracy charges last month and is expected to testify against Shipley at her trial.
Galloway is named administrative judge
Michael M. Galloway, the newest Circuit Court judge in Carroll County, has been appointed the court's administrative judge, the state's Court Information Office announced yesterday.
Galloway replaces county administrative Judge Raymond Beck Sr., who held the post for a dozen years. Galloway will oversee the court's budget, case assignment and jury management.
Beck plans to retire and wanted time to make a smooth transition for his successor, according to the announcement.
Galloway, one of three Circuit Court judges in Carroll County, earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1978 and practiced law until his appointment to the bench as an associate Circuit Court judge four years ago. He was appointed administrative judge by Robert M. Bell, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.