LEONARDTOWN, Md. (November 20, 2007) - The St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) released the following incident and arrest reports. BCI is an investigative team comprised of Detectives from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State Police, Leonardtown Barrack. The unit was established on July 1, 2003 and is based in Leonardtown, Maryland.
On November 14, St. Mary's County BCI detectives obtained a Grand Jury Indictment for Eric Antonio Brooks, 19, from California, Maryland for the murder of Edward T. Copeland, 27. The indictment was a result of a BCI investigation into an August 3, 2006 incident, when an altercation occurred at a residence on Mako Way in Lexington Park. During the altercation Brooks allegedly stabbed Copeland, causing his death.
Brooks turned himself into detectives on November 20th and was incarcerated at the St. Mary's County Detention Center.
On November 19, at approximately 9 a.m. BCI detectives charged Vernon Jon Gifford, 62, from Lexington Park, with Child Abuse and Child Abuse by Sexual Exploitation. The charges were a result of an investigation into a November 15 incident in which Gifford, who is a registered sex offender and on work release from the St. Mary's County Detention Center, allegedly exposed himself to a 6-year-old girl while at her residence in Lexington Park. His work release status has been revoked.