Troopers Investigate Murder-Suicide in Carroll Co.

Incident Comes on Heels of Apparent Murder-Suicide in Charles County on Oct. 1

FINKSBURG, Md. (October 14, 2010)—Maryland State Police are continuing their investigation of an apparent murder-suicide that left two Carroll County men dead early today.

The victim is identified as Steven W. Focht, 48, of the 1500-block of Pilgrim Lane, Finksburg, Md. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

The suspect is identified as Gregory A. Martin, 51, of the 4600-block of Doncrest Lane, Sykesville, Md. Martin was pronounced deceased where his body was found in the 2400-block of Shawnee Drive, Finksburg, shortly after 7:00 a.m. today. His body will be taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

At about 12:15 a.m. today, Maryland State Police at the Westminster Barrack received 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area of the 1500-block of Pilgrim Lane. Responding troopers found the victim lying in his driveway with what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

The preliminary investigation developed information on Martin as a possible suspect. Troopers determined the suspect’s vehicle was one of the vehicles in the victim’s driveway.

Troopers established a perimeter around the area and conducted a search for the suspect throughout the early morning. The search for the suspect involved a State Police helicopter, K-9 units, a tracking team, the Special Tactical Assault Team Element, and troopers patrolling throughout the area.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit was directed to respond and conduct the investigation. Homicide investigators were assisted by members of the Westminster Barrack Criminal Investigation Section and crime scene technicians from the State Police Forensic Sciences Division.

As daylight appeared, a trooper on the perimeter saw the body of a man lying in the back yard of a residence in the 2400-block of Shawnee Drive, Finksburg. This is a short distance away from the victim’s home and in the same neighborhood. This was also identified as the suspect’s previous home and where his estranged wife still lives.

EMS personnel determined Martin was deceased. State Police investigators recovered a .357 caliber handgun next to Martin’s body.

The preliminary investigation indicates Martin and Focht had an ongoing dispute that apparently began when the two were neighbors. State Police had responded to the neighborhood on two separate occasions for disputes between the two in 2007 and 2008. No criminal prosecutions resulted in either incident.

Investigators believe from the initial evidence that Focht arrived home from work shortly after midnight today and Martin pulled into the driveway behind him. A confrontation occurred in the driveway and Focht was shot in the upper torso multiple times. Investigators believe Martin then ran to the backyard of his previous residence and took his own life.

The investigation is continuing.

Source: Maryland State Police Headquarters


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