He’s charged with raping and murdering a teenager in 1996.
Frederick, Md (KM) The prosecution on Monday rested its case against Lloyd Harris, 54, whose been on trial for a nearly two-decade old homicide in Frederick. He’s charged with 1st-degree murder, 1st-degree rape and 3rd-degree sex offense for the slaying of Stacy Lynn Hoffmaster, 15, in 1996.
State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says defense attorneys called a homeless man to the stand as they started their case on Monday. “I believe they were trying to do is to attempt to get the jury to think it was him or that it may have been another homeless person who perhaps took items from the defendant’s camp and used them in the crime itself,” he says.
Hoffmaster’s body was found in a wooded area along East South Street near I-70, which was the location of a homeless camp.
In addition to the homeless person, Smith says the defense called retired Police Lieutenant Tom Chase to testified. He was the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Frederick Police Department when Stacy’s body was found in 1996. He says the defense tried to get Chase to say that it could have been someone else besides Harris who committed the murder. Smith says the attorneys even suggested Elmer Spencer,Jr. “He denied that essentially on the stands. His name did come up. That they took some information from Mr. Spencer in their investigation,” says Smith. “But at no point in time did he ever believe that Elmer Spencer, also convicted of murder of a young boy at a dugout in a ball field in Frederick city, was a suspect.”
Spencer was convicted of the 2000 murder of Christopher Ausherman, 9, whose body was found in a dugout at McCurdy Field in Frederick. Christopher attended South Frederick Elementary School, which is now known as Lincoln Elementary School. Spencer died in prison in 2009.
The trial resumes on Tuesday. It could wrap up later this week.
Smith says the State has no advance knowledge as to whether Harris will testify, but his attorneys are ready if that happens. “We always prepare for the defendant testifying.. You have to prepare for your potential cross examination of the defendant. Sometimes, most often,actually, they do not. So that work goes to waste so to speak. So you have to be for all possibilities,” he says.
By Kevin McManus