n Cocaine, money stolen during home invasion" /> Third suspect jailed in St. Mary’s homicide -- SoMdNews.com



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The arrest this week in Baltimore of a third man wanted on charges from a fatal shooting in St. Inigoes followed grand jurors’ action against all three suspects, as more details emerged about the killing that occurred amid a hunt for money and cocaine.

James Kenneth Clay Jr., 35, was jailed without bond in St. Mary’s after he was taken into custody this week. Andre Lionel Bowman, 31, of Laurel and Joseph William Medley III, 29, of Great Mills also have been charged with first-degree murder, burglary and robbery in the Feb. 7 death of Robert Lee McDowney in a mobile home off Beachville Road.

St. Mary’s detectives arrested Bowman and Medley within a week after the homicide on charging papers alleging that Medley planned the crime, that Bowman and Clay went into the trailer and that a witness in the home identified Clay as the shooter. The witness ran to a neighbor’s home for help, authorities report, and Bowman and Clay left with a getaway driver who has not been charged in the case.

Charging papers state that money and drugs were stolen during the home invasion, property that was described this week by the county’s lead prosecutor as $800 in cash and a softball-sized clump of cocaine weighing about one pound.

A woman living at the trailer with McDowney told investigators that she heard two intruders ask him “where is the money?” before a gun was fired, according to St. Mary’s State’s Attorney Richard Fritz (R), and the intruders forced the woman to show them where the cocaine and money were hidden in heating registers on the trailer’s floor.

The woman went next door for help “as soon as it was safe for her to do so,” Fritz said, and the two intruders also left “as soon as they found the drugs and money, [after] however long it took them to search the place, not more than five or 10 minutes.”

No other arrests have been made in the investigation, and there have been no charges against a Central Maryland woman who the prosecutor said drove the two intruders to and from the scene.

“She didn’t really know what was going on,” Fritz said this week at his office in the county courthouse.

Detectives report that Clay was arrested Tuesday in Baltimore, by members of a Maryland State Apprehension Team with a U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force that had been contacted for assistance. The St. Mary’s investigators went to Baltimore and later raided the residence where Clay was found.

Man indicted in estranged wife’s death

In a separate matter, a judge ordered this week that James Mitchell Carter, 46, of Great Mills be held in jail without bond on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary in the death of his estranged wife last month at her residence.

Carter was arrested within hours after Kimberly Carter was found dead on the morning of Feb. 19 outside her home in a housing area off Chancellor’s Run Road.

St. Mary’s detectives filed initial district court charging papers alleging that the suspect went into the woman’s home, dragged her out a window and beat her to death. He appeared in her bedroom at about 3 a.m. that day, charging papers state, and initially got into a scuffle with another man at the residence, who struck the suspect before running outside.

The prosecutor said after the suspect’s arrest that investigators suspect the woman was struck and killed with a patio brick.

jwharton@somdnews.com