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A St. Mary’s man charged with beating a nurse to death told police that he passed out during a confrontation with the woman on Aug. 8, court papers state, and that he later discovered she was dead, stole her cell phone and disposed of a blood-stained rock.

A judge ordered Wednesday that John Morris Quade Jr., 31, of Lexington Park remain in jail without bond on charges including first-degree murder in the death of Moneta Jo Strickland last Thursday at the Three Notch Trail in Mechanicsville’s Laurel Grove area.

The body of the 32-year-old California woman was found Friday near the trail, detectives report. A candlelight vigil in remembrance of Strickland will be held at 7:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, by the basketball courts at Chancellor’s Run Regional Park near Great Mills.

A witness’ statement Monday to investigators and a review of a nearby business’ security video led to them questioning the suspect, according to a statement of probable cause filed by Maryland State Police Trooper Michael Parker, assigned to the St. Mary’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations. Evidence in the case was located during a raid, court papers state, but detectives declined to state Wednesday if the rock has been found.

In court on Wednesday, Quade declined through a public defender to seek a bond hearing in his case. Online court records state that Quade was sentenced in 2000 to serve 18 months in jail on a charge of committing a third-degree sexual offense, and that he was jailed for one day in 2010 for failing, as a registered sexual offender, to notify authorities of a change of his address.

jwharton@somdnews.com