State Digest

STATE DIGEST

April 04, 2007

Police think man killed his 2 children, himself

A mother discovered the bodies of her two young children and their father yesterday afternoon in a wooded area of Montgomery County, an incident that police are calling an apparent murder-suicide.

The mother called police at 3:11 p.m. to report "a possible suicide," after the children's father called her and was seemingly distraught over their relationship, said Montgomery County Police Officer Melanie Hadley.

The father had called the mother yesterday and threatened "to harm their children," police said, and told her he would be in the area. The mother, who is 42, was estranged from the father, to whom she was not married.

When police arrived at the wooded area in 16700 block of Barnesville Road near the Frederick County border, they could hear the mother screaming, Hadley said. The bodies of a 35-year-old man, a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy were found 100 to 200 yards from the road, she said.

Police did not identify the victims other than to say they were residents of Boyds. The cause of death for each was under investigation and autopsies would be performed today or tomorrow, Hadley said.

Police performed CPR, but the three were pronounced dead at the scene.

The bodies were found on the property of Good News Farm. A woman who answered the phone at the horse stable said they were working with police but would not comment further.

Yesterday's discovery came a week after a man and his four young children were found dead in a townhouse about 20 miles away in Frederick. In that incident, police said three young girls had been suffocated, and their brother died from skull fractures. The father hanged himself from a banister with nylon rope. The mother is still missing.

Staff and wire reports

Garrett County

Pharmacist pleads guilty in painkiller case

OAKLAND --A Western Maryland pharmacist pleaded guilty to illegally possessing the prescription painkiller oxycodone yesterday after he was caught in a drugs-for-sex sting.

Thomas G. Bolt, 54, of LaVale, could be sentenced to up to four years in prison for the offense, Garrett County State's Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch said. She said a sentencing date had not been set.

In return for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges of possessing narcotics with intent to deliver and manufacturing or delivering narcotics.

Bolt, former owner of the Medicine Shoppe in Frostburg, was arrested July 6 at a Grantsville hotel where state police said he gave prescription painkillers to an undercover female state police trooper and a female informant.

Police said the arrest capped a two-month investigation.

Bolt is scheduled to stand trial in neighboring Allegany County on May 5 on charges of illegally possessing prescription painkillers, removing a label from the drugs and false labeling of the drugs.

Associated Press

Washington County

Woman pleads guilty, gives up her 70 horses in cruelty case

HAGERSTOWN --A woman whose love of horses became an unmanageable obsession gave up her 70 animals yesterday and was placed on five years of supervised probation for animal cruelty and abuse.

The plea bargain will enable the Humane Society of Washington County to adopt out the ailing, neglected animals it seized from Barbara P. Reinken's 35-acre Sharpsburg farm in early December in the largest horse rescue in Maryland history.

"I think it's beneficial to all the parties, especially the horses," Humane Society Executive Director Paul Miller said after the hourlong hearing in Washington County Circuit Court.

Reinken, 62, a registered nurse, entered an Alford plea to one felony count of aggravated animal cruelty. She also pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse.

In an Alford plea, a defendant doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to produce a guilty verdict.

Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. told Reinken her horse collection had "absolutely, positively spiraled out of control."

"You had an obligation and a responsibility to those horses that I find completely abdicated," Long said.

Virtually all the 75 horses taken alive from Reinken's property were infected with parasites, and many had diseased teeth, skin and feet, according to court records. One died in transit and four were later euthanized because of severe health problems and pregnancy complications.

Reinken didn't speak during the hearing except to answer routine questions posed by the judge. Defense attorney Edward N. Button said Reinken loved the horses, which she either bought or was given, but that she couldn't care for them alone while working full time at a nursing home.

"The defendant, in her mind, did everything possible that she could do to try to maintain these horses and provide for them," he said.

State's Attorney Joseph S. Michael said his main goal was to have the horses adopted to reduce the financial burden on the Humane Society.

Long ordered a psychiatric evaluation for Reinken, who is being treated for anxiety and depression, according to her lawyer.

The terms of her probation forbid Reinken from having contact with the horses and from owning any animals except the five dogs and six cats already in her possession.

Associated Press

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