Two Lusby teens will remain behind bars and charges of attempted murder are sustained following a district court hearing Friday. The defendants — Dru Michael Sultzaberger and John Michael Anderson Wood, both 19 — are charged in connection with a shooting incident during the early-morning hours of Oct. 27 on Golden West Way in the Chesapeake Ranch Estates subdivision.
An 18-year-old woman was shot in the face as she sat in a parked vehicle, which Sultzaberger and Wood are alleged to have riddled with bullets. Two other people in the vehicle escaped serious injury during the incident.
While on the witness stand, Detective Edward Yates of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that following the incident, the victim was able to identify a man she believed was named “Dru” as one of the gunmen. The woman, along with the other two occupants of the targeted vehicle, as well as Sultzaberger and Wood, were at a party in Prince Frederick a few hours prior to the incident.
According to court documents, sheriff’s office Detective Josh Buck interviewed the victim’s brother, who admitted he was also at the party and had “a verbal confrontation with Dru.” The court documents also revealed that Sultzaberger was carrying a gun at the party, “pointed the gun in the air and fired one round.”
Yates told the court that the woman who was shot was not involved in the confrontation at the party. During an interview at the sheriff’s office following his arrest, Sultzaberger, according to Yates, told him “he thought they were trying to jump him at the party.”
Police apprehended Wood during a traffic stop after he drove away from Sultzaberger’s residence, according to court documents. Sultzaberger was nabbed near his home. Police said he was walking towards a wooded area and was carrying a duffle bag. Inside the bag were two loaded Glock handguns. “The firearms and ammunition were both consistent with the evidence recovered on the scene,” Yates stated in court documents.
Sultzaberger’s attorney, John McKenna, told Judge Michelle Saunders that at the time of the shooting incident, there were no lights on inside the targeted vehicle, and his client was unaware it was occupied.
Public defender Frederick A. Lester Jr., who represented Wood, said his client was not identified as being involved in the scuffle at the party. Yates confirmed that investigators used a DNA sample taken from Wood after the traffic stop to connect him to the crime.
Both McKenna and Lester requested that attempted first-degree murder charges against their clients be dropped.
Calvert County Interim State’s Attorney Jennifer Morton (R) declared there were witness accounts that the defendants intended to kill the person who confronted Sultzaberger at the party.
Saunders said probable cause existed that the serious charges would not be dropped. The judge also sided with Morton on the denial of bond for both defendants, who have remained incarcerated since their arrests.McKenna stated his client has “no history of violence whatsoever.”
“He could be a flight risk,” Morton countered, adding that the violent nature of the crime warrants continuing to hold the defendants without bond. She also noted that a bail review was not scheduled to be part of the court hearing.
In addition to attempted first-degree murder, both Sultzaberger and Wood are charged with attempted second-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a minor, firearm use in a felony-violent crime and three counts each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
The case is expected to be transferred to circuit court next month.