Slain UM student's parents sue 3 men accused in death

November 20, 2003|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

The parents of a University of Maryland student who was fatally stabbed during an off-campus party last fall are suing the three men accused in his death.

In a lawsuit filed in Howard Circuit Court this month, Carol and William Malstrom III blame the three for playing different roles during a fight the night their son, Brandon, 20, died.

Two of the men - John Ryan Schlamp, 25, of Columbia and Quan L. Davis, 24, of Hanover - were acquitted of murder charges by a Prince George's County jury this year, and those not guilty findings "tore at their heart," said the Malstroms' attorney, Jay D. Miller of Lutherville.

Schlamp and Davis were convicted of riot and other lesser offenses in the case. Each was sentenced in July to 13 years in prison.

A misdemeanor assault charge against the third man, Robert A. Fournier, 23, of Columbia, is pending. Prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to pursue a murder charge against Fournier.

The burden of proof is much less stringent in the civil arena, said Miller, who represents the Malstroms with his partner, Joseph Murtha.

Brandon Malstrom and his brother, Bill, were at an off-campus party held to celebrate homecoming at College Park on Nov. 10, 2002, when a fight broke out, according to testimony.

Authorities have said a drunken Schlamp confronted Malstrom over a cellular phone.

The lawsuit accuses Schlamp and Davis of picking fights with revelers. Schlamp confronted Brandon Malstrom and punched him in the face, while Fournier grabbed the 20-year-old around the neck and held him, and Davis, who had showed off a knife earlier, "reached for his hip," according to the lawsuit.

After police arrived, Bill Malstrom found his brother in a nearby yard suffering from a stab wound in his abdomen. Brandon Malstrom, a Dulaney High School graduate studying business at College Park, was later pronounced dead.

The Malstroms are suing Schlamp, Davis and Fournier for assault, battery, emotional distress and wrongful death. The lawsuit seeks $10 million.

Schlamp's father, John Randolph Schlamp, said that while his son is guilty of assaulting Brandon Malstrom, he did not kill him. "My son didn't do it. He's paying such a dear price for partying down there," he said.

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