Trial Begins For Man Charged In Two-Decade-Old Murder

The prosecution says it may take over a week to present its case.



Frederick, Md (KM). The trial of Lloyd Arbard Harris, 53, began Tuesday in Frederick County Circuit Court. Harris is charged with 1st-degree murder, 1st-degree rape and 3rd-degree sex offense for the slaying of Stacy Lynn Hoffmaster, 15, of Frederick in 1996. She was reported missing in October of that year. Stacy’s body was found in December of that year in a wooded area off of East South Street near I-70.

Harris was arrested last year for the murder in Kansas City, Missouri

Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says jury selection took place on Monday, and the prosecution and the defense made their opening statements to the judge and jury on Tuesday. He says the State outlined some of its evidence, “including a statement from Mr. Harris, where he stated if he did it, it was a mistake,” says Smith. “So we believe that’s pretty compelling statement on behalf of Mr. Harris that he made.”

The State also called Stacy’s mother, brother and boyfriend to the witness stand. “They did give a timeline about when she was last seen,when their last communications were with her, and when, ultimately, they heard word of her body being found by the police detectives who then took the stand and testified,” Smith says.

He says the detectives testified how and when she was found, the scene, the evidence they collected, and what they believe led them to a homeless camp in that vicinity where Harris stayed.

Smith says the State will be spending a week and a half presented its case to the jury. When the prosecution rests, the defense will present its case. He says it’s uncertain if Harris will testify, but he has the right not to take the witness stand.

The case is nearly 20-years old, and it’s possible memories have faded over time, something the defense attorneys pointed out in their opening statements. . But Smith says prosecutors noted that you don’t forget traumatic events like these. “Your daughter goes missing and is found killed in the woods, you remember,,” Smith says


By Kevin McManus