State seeks more time for convict in Glen Farms murder case
— A co-defendant in the double murder of an elderly married couple inside their Elkton-area home in February 2015 failed to honor her end of a plea deal, and now prosecutors want her to serve 10 years in prison, instead of the agreed-upon five, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records.
Deputy State’s Attorney Steven L. Trostle filed a motion asking a judge to enforce the plea agreement that Ellen R. Lough, 28, of Port Deposit, accepted in August and then allegedly breached in October during an interview with Cecil County Sheriff’s Office detectives, court documents show.
Lough pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary as part of the plea deal carried out on Aug. 25, prosecutors said. In exchange, Lough received a 10-year sentence, of which half was suspended, and was ordered to serve five years of supervised probation upon her prison release, prosecutors added.
The state also dropped two counts of first-degree murder and several other related charges against Lough,
whom police and prosecutors consider to be a lesser player in the murders of Earl Loomis, 79, and his wife, MaryAnn, 76, inside their home in the 100 block of West Parkway in the Glen Farms community on Feb. 22, 2015.
Lough helped plan the home invasion, which resulted in the asphyxiation of the Loomis couple and the theft of numerous guns, credit cards, money and a 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck, according to prosecutors.
Under cornerstone condition of her plea bargain, Lough “agreed to be truthful with detectives” concerning her knowledge about the involvement of her three murder co-defendants — Derrick Lamonte Carroll, 26, and Kevin Cooper, 25, both of whom lived in Elkton at the time of the double murder, and Lough’s purported live-in boyfriend, Azu Azeuwah, 26.
Cooper has since been acquitted. In March, after a five-day trial, a Cecil County Circuit Court jury returned “not guilty” verdicts on all charges against Cooper, including two counts of firstdegree murder.
During his trial, crime scene technicians testified that the perpetrators had trashed the home and spread cleaning products, preventing investigators from lifting fingerprints and recovering DNA samples.
In her August plea deal, Lough had agreed to provide truthful and complete information regarding “her involvement and her knowledge of all of the co-defendants’ planning, their actions on the day of the homicides and their activities after the homicides occurred,” Trostle outlines in his motion.
“In particular, (Lough) is to give all information she knows about Derrick Carroll, one of the co-defendants. She has a lot of information both before and after the robbery and homicides took place and she has agreed, again, to give truthful information when interviewed by detectives,” according to the court document.
But on Oct. 1, some five weeks after accepting her plea deal, Lough reneged on her promise to cooperate during her interview with CCSO detectives, prosecutors contend.
“During the statement, approximately half way through the statement, (Lough) admitted to lying during the same statement, referring to her own statement to the detectives as bull(expletive),” the state motion alleges.
Based on her admission of lying, detectives deemed Lough to “untrustworthy” and her cooperation to be “lacking any value to the state,” prosecutors reported.
Now the state is requesting a hearing to decide if Lough breached her plea agreement in her doublemurder case, which has been reopened. If it is determined that Lough had, indeed, breached the deal, prosecutors are asking the judge to “convert the sentence to 10 years straight time,” according to the state motion.
If the judge determines that Lough breached her plea deal but “did not understand what the punitive clause was” in her agreement, prosecutors would “then elect to reinstitute all charges against the defendant,” including the two counts of first-degree murder, court records show.
As of Monday, a hearing date had not been set in response to the state’s motion to enforce Lough’s plea agreement.
Lough, who is an inmate at Jessup Women’s Correctional Institution, was not called as a state witness during Cooper’s murder trial, which took place in late March, some five months after Lough allegedly had lied to detectives during her interview.
Prosecutors did call Azuewah as a witness. Moments after Azeuwah arrived at the witness stand and took his oath, however, he declined to testify against Cooper — seemingly against a plea deal that he, too, had accepted in August.
On Aug. 12, Azuewah received a 19-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit home invasion as part of a plea deal in which prosecutors dropped two counts of firstdegree murder and other charges against him.
Azuewah had admitted to driving Carroll and Cooper to the victims’ home on the night of the deadly crime and dropping them off there, according to court records.
Also part of his deal, Azuewah agreed to testify truthfully against Cooper and Carroll in exchange for a two-year reduction in his sentence each time that he did cooperate– translating to a 15-year sentence if he met that condition.
Asked if the state planned to file a motion aimed at scratching Azuewah’s plea agreement, Trostle commented, “That decision still hasn’t been made.”
Carroll, meanwhile, is awaiting a trial date. Carroll, who is incarcerated in Delaware in an unrelated criminal matter, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and numerous other offense in this doublehomicide case.