Homicide Suspect Indicted By Frederick County Grand Jury

The panel also charged a man involved in a deadly illegal street race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 1: Santos Margarito Turcios-Benitez from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page

Photo 2: Kelly Nicole Serra (victim)

Frederick, Md (KM) A Frederick man arrested for a murder has been indicted by the Frederick County Grand Jury. Santos Margarito Turcios-Benitez, 36, was indicted by the Grand Jury on Friday for 1st-degree murder. State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says Turcios-Benitez is a suspect in the slaying of Kelly Nicole Serra, 37, of Frederick. Her body was found in August, 2020, in a wooded area behind the former Ollie’s Bargain Outlet just off of Waverly Drive.

“A lengthy subsequent investigation revealed that the defendant was actually drinking with the victim the night of the murder. He’s accused of stabbing her with a knife. And he was recently arrested in New York State and extradited back to Maryland,” Smith says.

In another case, the Grand Jury indicted Noah Kyle Wetzel, 21, of Emmitsburg, whose charged failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury and other offenses. Smith says Wetzel was involved in an illegal street race along Clemonsonville Road in March, 2020. “The defendant was actually driving a pickup truck with several passengers in the bed. Two of the passengers fell out of truck leading to critical injuries. They were transported to Shock Trauma and one of the victims ultimately died from a fatal head injury,” he says.

The two victims are identified as John Whittington, Jr., and Michael Allen Fritz of New Windsor. Fritz died from his injuries.

A domestic violence case came before the Grand Jury. Nicholas Allen Lowry, 33, of Frederick, is charged with one count of 1st-degree assault, and two counts of 2nd-degree assault. Smith says these charges resulted from a domestic incident which occurred on March 8th, 2021. “He did it in front of the children. Strangled her to the point that she was almost blacked out. She was trying to leave. This is what he does to her including striking her in the face,” says Smith.

Daniel Michael Teore, 37, of Frederick is charged with promotion and distribution of child pornography, and ten counts of possession of child pornography. Smith says Teore was a using a computer server called Kic. “He was flagged for sharing child pornographic content,” says Smith. “They actually investigated with New Zealand authorities. That’s where the cloud server was found. Multiple, multiple child pornography on computers.”

This case was investigated by the Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the US Department of Homeland Security.

Other indictments handed down by the Grand Jury include:

*Demar Cortez Allen, 29, of Germantown, who is charged with two counts of 1st-degree assault, two counts of 2nd-degree assault, three counts of reckless endangerment, firearm possession with crime of violence conviction, two counts of firearm use in felony-violent crime, loaded handgun on person, handgun on person, handgun in vehicle, and illegal possession of ammunition for an incident on April 20th, 2019.

*James Samuel Mercer, Jr., 43, of Frederick who’s charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute Fentanyl or analogue of Fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute Cocaine, possession with intent to distribute Fentanyl, possession of Fentanyl, possession of Cocaine, possession of Tenocyclidine (TCP), possession of 10gm+ Marijuana, illegal possession of ammunition, fraud per ident. avoid prosecution, display improper registration plates, operating unregistered motor vehicle, and false report for an incident that occurred on February 27th, 2021.

*Terrence George Kentra Magett, 25, of Frederick who’s charged with two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute Marijuana, and two counts of possession of 10mg or more of Marijuana. The offenses took place on March 3rd, 2021 and April 7th, 2021.

*Tarae Keonte Simms, 20, of Frederick is charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute PCP/LSD/Hallucinogen; distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of 10gm+ of Marijuana; distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of PCP/LSD/Hallucinogen; distribution, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of 10gm+ of Marijuana; possession with intent to distribute, possession of 10gm+, and para-digital scale of Marijuana. Those offenses occurred on March 8th, 2021, March 23rd, 2021, and April 13th, 2021.

*O’Shea Malik Lewis, 19, of Frederick is charged with two counts of firearm possession with crime of violence, two counts of possession of firearm/ammunition as a minor, regulated firearm stolen/sell, three counts of illegal possession of ammunition, possession 10gm+ and possession with intent to distribute Marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and possession of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), firearm and drug trafficking crime, and conspiracy of possession with intent to distribute Marijuana. The offense occurred on April 1st, 2021.

*Robert Antoine Shirley, Jr., 22, of Silver Spring is charged with possession of 10gm+ and possession with intent to distribute Marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and possession of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), firearm drug trafficking crime, conspiracy of possession with intent to distribute Marijuana, two counts of illegal possession of a regulated firearm, illegal possession of ammunition, regulated firearm stolen/sell, etc. The offense occurred on April 1st, 2021.

All cases will move to a Circuit Court where trial dates will be scheduled. Jury trials picked back up on April 26th, 2021 after being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indictments are charging documents alleging criminal conduct, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

 

 

By Kevin McManus