3rd family member charged in killing


September 27, 2006|By ANDREA F. SIEGEL

A second son of a woman whose boyfriend's body was found burning on the side of a Millersville road has been charged with murder, making him the third member of that family charged in connection with the February slaying of Anthony Frank Fertitta, 50, of Baltimore.

Christopher James Haarhoff, 20, of Halethorpe is scheduled to be arraigned next month in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree murder and two handgun violations, according to court records. The grand jury indictment was ordered unsealed Friday.

He is in prison in Hagerstown, prosecutors said. Court records say he was ordered incarcerated in August for a year and a day after violating probation in an assault case in Baltimore County.

Haarhoff's brother, Matthew Joseph Haarhoff, 18, who lived with his mother near where Fertitta's body was found, was indicted in March on a first-degree murder charge. Police said he told someone he shot and stabbed Fertitta before moving the body and setting it on fire. His trial is scheduled for January.

The mother of the two men, Cynthia Jean McKay, 49, was indicted on March on three counts of being an accessory after the murder, though Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said whether his office will seek additional charges against her "is still up in the air." Her trial is scheduled for November, along with one on a felony theft charge alleging that she stole from her employer, a company that rents portable toilets. The theft charge arose from the investigation into Fertitta's death.

Authorities say they suspect that Fertitta was slain in McKay's home after the couple argued. His burning body was found by police a few hundred feet from her home.

Calling the case "very unusual," Weathersbee said he could not recall a homicide case in the county in which three members of one family were charged. He said the evidence was "complex to say the least."

Two days after Fertitta was slain, Christopher Haarhoff was convicted of two counts of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and given probation before judgment in Baltimore District Court, court records indicate. A probation violation charge is due to be heard next month.

McKay has had 19 criminal convictions, mostly for credit card fraud and theft. She was released from jail in July from a conviction for embezzling $205,000 from a Baltimore seminary, according to court records.

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