Harford man, 19, held without bail in death of 2-month-old niece

Defendant, whom judge says is developmentally disabled, allegedly struck infant in the face

  • Colin Christopher Wolf is jailed in Harford County on an attempted first degree murder charge in connection with the death of his 2-moth-old niece. He is expected to be charged with first degree murder, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office.
Colin Christopher Wolf is jailed in Harford County on an attempted… (Harford County Sheriff's…)
April 23, 2013

The 19-year-old Harford County man with developmental disabilities who is accused of killing his 2-month-old niece was ordered Monday to continue being held without bail.

Colin Christopher Wolf, of the 2000 block of Bay Meadows Court in Forest Hill, is facing first degree murder charges after he allegedly struck the child, who had been left in his care, in the face Thursday night and she later died, according to the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

After an earlier bail review hearing Friday where Harford County District Court Judge Mimi Cooper questioned Wolf's competency, District Court Judge Victor Butanis ordered Wolf to continue being held without bail Monday and made no mention of any competency concerns.

"Is there even a death penalty here?" Butanis asked before preparing to inform Wolf that he could be sentenced to death.

Wolf did not respond to Butanis when asked whether he had spoken with a public defender and then struggled to speak before providing his address and the amount of time he has lived there.

Public defender John Janowich said Wolf attended Bel Air High School and asked the judge to consider that "certain exams" will be ordered for him.

Janowich later said the ball is in the state's attorney's court and said Wolf's disability is one factor that could be considered.

"Everything needs to be looked at," he said.

Left alone with infant

Shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, at the request of paramedics from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, sheriff's deputies responded to the 2000 block of Bay Meadows Court in Forest Hill for a report of an injured baby.

When they arrived, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office, deputies found the paramedics treating a 2-month-old girl. Deputies spoke to Rebecca Wolf, 52, who said the infant was her granddaughter and that the child had been left in the care of Colin Christopher Wolf, 19, of the same address.

The grandmother told deputies she had left the home at about 9:45 p.m. to visit family. When she left, according to the Sheriff's Office, the baby was asleep in her bassinet. When she returned home at about 10:50 p.m., Rebecca Wolf went to check on the child and found the baby had suffered serious injuries.

According to charging documents obtained from District Court Tuesday, Rebecca Wolf left her son, Colin Wolf, to watch the baby and explained she and her daughter, the baby's mother, were just going to Edgewood for a little while.

When the grandmother returned home to check on the baby, she saw Colin Wolf coming from the baby's room carrying a plastic grocery bag. When she asked him what he was doing, he said he was taking the trash out and going to his friend's house.

Rebecca Wolf said when she went into the baby's room, she saw the baby bruised and bleeding and tangled in the bumper pad.

When she called for Colin Wolf, she got no answer.

The grandmother immediately called 9-1-1. Paramedics treated the baby at the scene and transported her to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, according to the Sheriff's Office. The baby was later transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she was initially reported to be in critical condition with life threatening injuries. At 10:59 a.m. Friday, the baby died, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Potential incriminating statements

Patrol deputies searched the area for Colin Wolf and eventually found him in the 1800 block of Trudeau Drive in Forest Hill.

Colin Wolf allegedly told his sister he had sprayed deodorant spray in the baby's face and punched her, stating that his sister did not deserve to have a baby, according to charging documents.

He made similar statements to police during an interview later, according to the charging documents.

Colin Wolf was arrested and initially charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and child abuse. He was taken to the Harford County Detention Center where, after being seen by a Harford County District Court Commissioner, he was ordered held without bail.

As a result of the child's death, those charges were amended and Colin Wolf was subsequently charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, first degree assault, second degree assault and first degree child abuse leading to death, according to court records.

First bail hearing

During Wolf's first bail review hearing in Bel Air Friday afternoon, Judge Cooper became clearly concerned when Wolf, who appeared via closed circuit television from the detention center, stared blankly ahead and took long pauses before answering routine questions posed by the judge.

After questioning Wolf and meeting at the bench with lawyers from the Office of the Public Defender and the State's Attorney's Office, Cooper noted that Wolf has "developmental disabilities" and should receive a competency hearing.

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