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Attempted robbery suspects allegedly wanted prescription drugs

By KATIE FITZPATRICK

Staff writer

Two suspects, one of whom was shot dead, who tried Sunday evening to break into a Harlequin Court home in Huntingtown allegedly did so because they were trying to rob the homeowner of prescription medication.

At 10:23 p.m. Sunday, March 31, the Calvert County Emergency Operations Center received a phone call from a woman stating that her husband, West Helen Taylor III, a retired Metropolitan Police Department lieutenant, had fired his gun at their home in the 3600 block of Harlequin Court and police and EMS assistance was needed, according to charging documents.

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Maryland State Police Prince Frederick barrack troopers responded to the home, where they found a man, later identified as Kevin Wayne Chapman, 38, of Lusby, lying next to the driveway of the home. Police said he was dead, having suffered several gunshot wounds.

Chapman’s body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

Taylor told police he was upstairs in his bedroom when he heard several loud bangs on his front door, charging documents state. He retrieved his Walther .380 caliber handgun and went to the front door, police said.

When Taylor opened the door, he found “two white males,” one of whom raised a baseball bat at him while the other “made verbal threats,” police said. “In fear for himself and his wife, Mr. Taylor fired his handgun, striking the white male who was holding the baseball bat,” charging documents state.

Both suspects then turned and ran down the driveway and Taylor chased them; the man with the baseball bat fell over in the yard and “succumbed to his injuries,” police said.

The second suspect ran to a vehicle, which was parked in the road near Taylor’s home. Taylor “retrieved a second handgun, a Glock 19, and ran towards” the person in the vehicle, according to charging documents. Police said the person backed the car toward Taylor to try to “run him down,” and Taylor “proceeded to fire his Glock at the vehicle.” The person then drove away from the house, according to police.

Police said they observed several spent shell casings and two “mushroomed” bullets, consistent with bullets that had struck something, in the area where Taylor said he saw the second suspect get inside the vehicle. Taylor told police he did not know if he had shot the second suspect or the car. Police said they also found an aluminum metal tire rim of a vehicle and a black baseball bat near Chapman’s body.

After police identified Chapman, they ran a “computer check,” which revealed April Lynn Stewart, 39, of Lusby as his girlfriend, charging documents state. Police learned the couple was living in the 15000 block of Running Fox Circle in Lusby and when they went to the house, they saw a gold Toyota Camry parked out front. Police said they “located a bullet hole on the passenger side rear door” of the car and also noticed the left front tire had been replaced with a spare.

A search and seizure warrant was authorized and executed at the home, charging documents state, where police found Stewart inside. During the search, police allege Stewart made comments about being at the attempted robbery and shooting. According to charging documents, she also made statements about being shot at by the homeowner and that she had driven her vehicle home on a flat tire.

Stewart was taken to the sheriff’s office and, after allegedly waiving her Miranda Rights, told police she and Chapman went to the Harlequin Court home to “commit a robbery” and steal prescription medication, according to charging documents. She told police Chapman knew the homeowner because he worked for Action Exterminator Co. Inc. in Prince Frederick in the past and had conducted work at their residence.

When the homeowner opened the front door, Stewart alleged that “he began firing a gun at them,” charging documents state. She told police she ran toward her vehicle and drove away. Stewart also said she “knew Chapman was hit by the gunfire, but was not sure if he survived or not,” according to charging documents.

Police said they took pictures of Stewart after the interview, and one picture showed she apparently had been “struck by a bullet,” evidenced by a badly bruised 2-inch area on her upper back.

Sheriff Mike Evans (R) at a press conference Monday said the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed against the homeowner. Evans said police believe the homeowner was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed the suspect.

In an email Wednesday morning, Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin said she could not comment on the case as law enforcement is still “following up on some necessary information,” and has not yet screened the case with her office.

“Once a complete review of the investigation and findings by law enforcement has been done, a charging decision for the entire case will be made,” Martin wrote in the email. “Until I have all the information, a decision regarding any charges by this Office is premature.”

Police said they were able to identify Chapman’s body through his fingerprints because he has an extensive criminal history.

In January 2009, Chapman was arrested for possession of paraphernalia, to which he later pleaded guilty and for which he was fined $57.50, and possession of marijuana, which was placed on the stet, or inactive, docket. In April 2006, he was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, but the charges were dropped by the prosecution, according to online records.

Chapman was indicted in October 2005 and charged with theft less than $100, which was placed on the stet docket. In a separate case, he was indicted that same month on various traffic charges, including driving with a suspended out-of-state license, to which he pleaded guilty and for which he was given a six-month suspended sentence and placed on three years of unsupervised probation, online records show. In March 2005, Chapman was charged with second-degree assault, which was later dropped by the prosecution.

Charges against Chapman of fourth-degree burglary, malicious destruction of property less than $300 and trespassing from an April 1998 incident were all placed on the stet docket. He was indicted in March 1998 for fourth-degree burglary and found guilty of the charge.

In 1995, among other, alcohol-related charges, Chapman was found guilty of CDS possession and sentenced to six months in jail with one month and 16 days suspended. A charge of CDS possession from October 1994 against Chapman was placed on the stet docket. In 1993, he was found guilty of CDS possession and placed on unsupervised probation, and was convicted of battery and sentenced to six months in prison, with five months and 27 days suspended.

Calls to Taylor’s home were not returned as of press time.

kfitzpatrick@somdnews.com