State seeks more time for convict in Glen Farms mur­der case

Cecil Whig - - & - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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,

ELK­TON

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.

LOUGH

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