Arundel man is charged in mother's death in Dec.

Body was found in freezer of Subway sandwich shop

January 10, 2004|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

An Edgewater man - who police say cashed a forged check with his mother's blood on it - has been charged with fatally stabbing her last month and leaving her body in the freezer of the Annapolis-area Subway sandwich shop where she worked.

Jason Austin Blevins, 24, is in jail in Iowa on unrelated bad-check charges, but Anne Arundel County police issued an arrest warrant Thursday and said they will soon extradite Blevins to face a first-degree murder charge in the death Dec. 12 of Mary Ella Ginger, 51.

He was arrested when a routine background check immediately after the killing turned up an outstanding warrant against him in Baltimore County on bad-check charges, and he was later extradited to Iowa to face similar charges there.

Ginger's killing shocked Festival at Riva merchants and patrons, and the Subway owner said the community was on edge until police announced the arrest warrant yesterday.

"There was a fear factor for us after this incident," said Subway shop owner Joey Yousefzadeh, a close friend of Ginger's. "Every time we saw a police car, we were reminded of what happened."

Yousefzadeh was stunned that the woman's son had been charged in the killing.

He said Ginger, a mother of two, was "generous to a fault" with her children.

He said she took a part-time job at his shop four years ago to help pay for their Christmas presents.

"She would take anything out of her own mouth and give it to her children," he said.

Blevins and his wife had been living with Ginger for about two years, friends of the family said. But she threw him out Dec. 12 after learning that he had been writing checks on her account and using her credit card without her permission, according to a statement of charges in the case.

That day, police said, Blevins confronted his mother at the Subway shop off Route 50, where Ginger was working alone at 11 p.m.

Detectives say they believe that the two had an argument and that Blevins grabbed a knife and stabbed his mother more than a dozen times before concealing her body in the shop's freezer, according to court documents.

About 1 a.m., Ginger's mother, who had been visiting from West Virginia for the holidays, called Yousefzadeh to tell him that her daughter had not come home from work.

Yousefzadeh said he went to check on the shop, saw blood and called police.

Officers found Ginger's body and discovered that someone had tampered with her wallet and checkbook. Police said nothing had been taken from the shop.

Detectives later learned that Blevins had cashed a $500 check from his mother at a local M&T Bank the day after she was killed.

The check had blood on it that DNA testing showed was Ginger's, police said.

That evidence and statements from a witness who was staying with Blevins at a Glen Burnie motel led police to file an arrest warrant late Thursday.

Police would not say whether they had recovered the knife and clothing, and they declined to name the witness.

But the witness saw Blevins place clothes and a knife in a plastic bag and wash what appeared to be blood off his hands, according to the statement of charges.

Lt. Joseph Jordan, spokesman for the Anne Arundel Police Department, said that Blevins emerged as a suspect and that police worked quickly to gather evidence.

"We knew the public was very concerned," he said, "and we wanted to assure people that this was not a random act."

Ginger, who has a 20-year-old daughter, Virginia, became a single parent after she divorced in the early 1990s, according to her mother, Jean Law of Beckley, W.Va.

She ran a day care center out of her Steuart Lane home for about 15 years.

A woman who answered the telephone there yesterday said the family had no comment about Blevins' arrest, saying it was "too sad, too horrible for words."

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