Head of Carroll County criminal investigations charged with misconduct, resigns

Charge stems from botched murder investigation

The now-former head of criminal investigations for the Carroll County Sheriff's Department is facing a criminal charge of his own.

The State Prosecutor has charged Major Nicholas Plazio with misconduct in office.

It started with a murder in Hampstead, Carroll County back in September of 2010.

Jeremiah DeMario, 25, was well-known in Hampstead and Manchester.  He attended North Carroll High School, and had a young son.

On September 13 th of 2010, DeMario was sitting outside of his apartment in a converted silo building in Hampstead, When, his father says, a neighbor approached him.

"Laderer rushed him.  And stabbed him in the chest and left him to die," said his father, Rich DeMario.

Russell Laderer had been known in the area for heated arguments with his girlfriend, Cassandra Glover.  "Jeremiah had called the police for a disturbance between the two of them before," DeMario said.

Police took the pair into custody shortly after the attack.  They were questioned at the Carroll County Sheriff's Department.

Jeremiah DeMario's father says he watched the confession during a pre-trial hearing.

"Russell Laderer explained what he did. Where he did it," he said.

Months later, problems surfaced.

DeMario said Cassandra Glover asked for an attorney -- but he says Major Nicholas Plazio ordered the interrogation to continue.

"The sheriff's department was totally unprepared to conduct a thorough investigation that could be brought to a court," DeMario said.

And now, Major Plazio has been charged with misconduct in office.  Charging documents filed by the State Prosecutor indicate the major not only disregarded Glover's request for an attorney -- but that he lied about it under oath.

"Any law enforcement officer, let alone a commander of a criminal investigations unit, must be held to the highest standards of conduct and integrity.  False reports and false testimony are never acceptable under any circumstances and cannot be tolerated," said State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt in a statement released Wednesday.

The murder charges against Russell Laderer, and the accessory to murder charge against Glover have been dismissed.

"Here (Plazio) had an opportunity to truly take a bad guy off the streets. And for whatever reason, he didn't do it that way," DeMario said, adding that he does not believe Russell Laderer will ever be brought to justice.

But he doesn't spend much time thinking about him – instead:  "Jeremiah's son being raised without a father.  How his son's mother copes on a day to day basis, being a single parent. How we just enjoyed the holidays with one person missing at our table.  Those are the things that really affect me on a day to day basis," he said.

On Wednesday, Carroll County Sheriff Kenneth Tregoning announced that Plazio has resigned -- and his office is cooperating with the State Prosecutor.

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