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By JOHN WHARTON

Staff writer

A St. Mary’s man identifying himself as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service remained jailed without bond after a brief court hearing Wednesday on charging papers alleging he went into his estranged wife’s home, dragged her out a window and beat her to death.

James Mitchell Carter, 46, was “holding onto the hope” of reconciling with Kimberly Dawn Carter, witnesses told police, but court papers also state that she recently told him that she was going to soon serve him with divorce papers.

Kimberly Carter also planned to change the locks on Tuesday to her Great Mills area home because she feared her husband had made a copy of her daughter’s key, according to charging papers alleging he appeared in her bedroom at about 3 a.m. that day.

“Mitchell, No!” Kimberly Carter yelled as she and a boyfriend awoke, court papers state, and the suspect initially got into a scuffle with Thomas Norris, who struck the suspect before running outside.

The attack on Kimberly Carter commenced, initially inside the home located in the Greenview West housing area off Chancellor’s Run Road, according to a statement of probable cause filed by detective Cpl. William Raddatz of the St. Mary’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

“Then, it appears she was taken out of the basement window and brought to the yard,” the detective wrote. “At this point, she was beaten repeatedly with a blunt object in the face.”

“They think it was a brick, a patio brick,” St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R) said this week.

Kimberly Carter died at the scene, and police found James Carter a few hours later at his home in a housing area off Route 5 near Great Mills. Court papers state that he told the law officers that he left his three young children there early that morning while he went out to “drive around,” including stopping at 1 a.m. at a bank in California.

Police found the suspect had several minor injuries, court papers state, including scratches and a large cut on his hands, a bruise on his lip and scratches on his chest. The law officers found more blood on Wednesday as their hunt for evidence took them to Willows Road near Lexington Park.

“They found some bloody clothes on the side of the road that they assume are those of the person who is alleged to have committed the murder,” Fritz said. “They will be subject to forensic investigation, DNA testing.” Carter was charged with second-degree murder in his wife’s death, as well as first-degree burglary.

Witnesses told police Kimberly Carter locked her doors before she went to bed, court papers state, and the prosecutor said there was no evidence of a forced entry to the residence.

She and the suspect had been separated since the middle of last year, court papers state, when she moved out of their home.

A resident of the neighborhood where Kimberly Carter died this week said she moved in there about six months ago. “She was a really nice person,” the neighbor said.

James Carter told a court commissioner after his arrest this week that he worked at the post office in Great Mills, and that he had been employed by the postal service for 13 years. An employee at the post office declined to speak Thursday about Carter’s employment.

jwharton@somdnews.com