Arnold teen charged in ax attack, arson


July 19, 2006|By ANNIE LINSKEY

An Arnold teenager was arrested yesterday and charged with attacking his aunt with an ax and setting her house on fire, endangering four occupants, Anne Arundel County police said.

Deontray Lorenzo Neal, 17, of the 800 block of Mago Vista Road was charged as an adult with attempted murder, arson and other charges. He was being held in the Anne Arundel County detention center.

According to accounts provided by county police and fire officials, Neal used an accelerant to set a fire in his aunt's kitchen, living room and dining room and then used an ax to strike his aunt's legs and stomach before 2 a.m. yesterday.

The aunt, Giselle Goodrum, 50, fled to a neighbor's home, but the teenager attempted to enter that house by breaking glass windows and damaging the front door, police said.

Police found a wounded Goodrum in the front yard. She was treated at a hospital for injuries considered not life-threatening.

Three other people who live with Goodrum were treated at Anne Arundel Medical Center for smoke inhalation, police said. It took county firefighters 20 minutes to put out the blaze.

Neal had been living with his aunt, police said. Court records show that she was his legal guardian. The Capital newspaper reported yesterday that in February Goodrum attempted to relinquish custody of Neal because of discipline problems, but her request was denied.

Neal turns 18 next month.

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