For­mer P.G. po­lice of­fi­cer on trial for mur­der plot

Son fac­ing charges af­ter mother’s con­vic­tion in Dec.

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

For­mer Prince Ge­orge’s Coun- ty po­lice of­fi­cer Richard Travess Con­way is on trial this week in Charles County Cir­cuit Court, ac­cused of plot­ting a mur­der with his mother.

Con­way, 27, was ar­rested and charged with first-de­gree mur- der and at­tempted mur­der a few days af­ter his mother, Caro­line Con­way, 52, shot his ex-girl- friend, Krys­tal Mange, 25, and her hus­band Robert Mange, 25, at what was sup­posed to be a cus­tody ex­change out­side a Wal- dorf McDon­ald’s in May 2015. Robert died from mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds to his up­per body af­ter try­ing to grab the gun as they were ac­costed in­side their ve­hi­cle, while Krys­tal was shot once and sur­vived. In De­cem­ber, Caro­line Con­way, whose de­fense team claimed she had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a psy­chotic dis­so­cia­tive episode at the time, was found guilty and crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble for the act fol­low­ing a two week jury trial.

With Judge Erik Nyce pre­sid­ing, Charles County State’s At­tor- ney An­thony Cov­ing­ton (D) and as­sis­tant state’s at­tor­ney Fran­cis Grana­dos were con­tin­u­ing to call wit­nesses as of press time Thurs­day morn­ing. Richard Con­way is be­ing rep­re­sented by de­fense at­tor­neys C.T. Wil­son and Michael Adams.

In his open­ing state­ments, Cov­ing­ton be­gan by walk­ing the jury through a play-by-play

as the state be­lieves the events of May 20, 2015, un­folded.

Around 5:45 p.m., as the Manges sat in their Jeep wait­ing for Richard to drop off Krys­tal’s two chil­dren in com­mon, Car- oline Con­way sud­denly opened the rear driver side door. “She’s dressed head to toe in dark cloth­ing” with a dark hoodie and black gloves on, bran- dish­ing a hand­gun, Cov- in­g­ton said. At gun­point, Krys­tal is in­structed to call Richard to change the pickup lo­ca­tion to the La Plata court­house park­ing lot at 7:30 p.m., to which Richard calmly agrees to.

Af­ter the call, “Krys­tal and Robert lock eyes,” Cov­ing­ton said. “I sup- pose the last com­muni- cation they had with each other.”

Robert tried to grab for the gun, but was un­able to wrench it from her grasp. Caro­line then shot him sev­eral times in the park­ing lot, and then found Krys­tal cow­er­ing next to the Jeep and shot her once in her ab­domen be­fore flee­ing the scene.

Though it was Caro­line who did the shoot­ing, Cov­ing­ton told the jury that Richard is “just as guilty as Caro­line Con- way be­cause he is an ac­com­plice” and “know- in­gly aided in the com- mis­sion of the crime.”

Cov­ing­ton said the shoot­ing was mo­ti­vated by a heated cus­tody dis- pute, Richard’s ob­ses­sion with get­ting back at Krys- tal, and Caro­line’s ob­ses- sion with her grand­kids: a “mur­der­ous com­bi­na­tion as it turned out to be.”

The pros­e­cu­tor went on to fur­ther ex­plain Rich- ard’s al­leged role in the mur­der scheme. “Within four min­utes of the mur- der, she called him twice” us­ing a “burner phone” Richard had per­suaded a teenager to buy for him un­der the pre­text that he needed it for a high-level nar­cotics in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Cov­ing­ton said that “he picks up the shooter as she flees the scene” and “takes her out of the area” to an old fam­ily friend’s house. Then, “he helps dis­pose of the tools of this crime,” Cov­ing­ton said, adding that Richard’s ser­vice weapon, the burner phone, and Car- oline’s cloth­ing are put into a trash bag and “that trash bag, last time it was seen, it was go­ing into the car” with the Con­ways, a scene cap­tured by a home sur­veil­lance sys­tem.

“Af­ter fully know­ing that these two peo­ple had been shot,” Richard, he said, lives out the ali- bi his mother at­tempted to es­tab­lish for him, tex- ting and call­ing Krys­tal’s phone from the La Plata court­house park­ing lot.

De­fense at­tor­ney C.T. Wil­son ad­dressed the jury and gave a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of events.

“He’s ter­ri­fied be­cause he knows his life is hang- ing in the bal­ance,” Wil­son said. “We know who did it. We know Caro­line Con­way took her son’s gun … but that’s not sexy enough” for the state.

“What you’ve heard is like some poorly writ­ten crime show,” he con­tin­ued. “It was never a search for the facts,” just what matched their the­ory.

Wil­son pointed out that “he came back to his house vol­un­tar­ily … he had every op­por­tu­nity to run,” and that Richard’s cus­tody agree­ment with Krys­tal was an ideal sit­u­a­tion for him.

“He has an amaz­ing cus­tody agree­ment,” Wil­son said. “He gets 10 days to their four days … what does he have to be mad about?”

The trial is on­go­ing.

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