Former P.G. police officer on trial for murder plot
Son facing charges after mother’s conviction in Dec.
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.