- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 6, 2009

HAGERSTOWN, Md. | A Maryland man was in jail Tuesday on charges that he interrogated his girlfriend about her unemployment checks while holding her captive in a bedroom with the door screwed shut and a 5-gallon bucket for a toilet.

Michael C. Keilholtz, 48, of Emmitsburg, was charged with false imprisonment and second-degree assault. A Maryland State Police trooper had responded to a 911 hang-up call at about midday Monday from the home along state Route 140 about three miles east of Emmitsburg.

Trooper 1st Class James Egros reported that when he arrived, he heard a woman screaming for help and saw two people through a second-floor window. He ordered them downstairs, and they complied.

According to court records, Catherine D. Kerns, 52, told Trooper Egros she had come to visit Mr. Keilholtz at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday and they began arguing about money. She said Mr. Keilholtz then took her upstairs to his bedroom and locked both of them inside by screwing shut both doors to the room.

She said he put the bucket in a closet along with some toilet paper for her to use as a bathroom.

During her imprisonment, Mr. Keilholtz repeatedly questioned her about her unemployment checks and punched her when he didn’t get satisfactory answers, Miss Kerns told police.

On Sunday and Monday, Mr. Keilholtz temporarily unscrewed the doors so they both could go downstairs and eat, Miss Kerns said. On the second trip downstairs, she said, she made two hang-up calls to 911 between calls to inquire about her unemployment checks.

Police said they found a machete, two loaded handguns and seven rifles or shotguns in the home. Miss Kerns told police that Mr. Keilholtz had threatened in the past to shoot her.

Mr. Keilholtz told Trooper Egros that he had held the woman captive because she had been lying to him about financial matters, and he wanted to learn the truth, according to court records.

Mr. Keilholtz was being held Tuesday at the Frederick County jail with bail set at $30,000. Calls to his home and to an attorney who represented him in a past drunken-driving case were not immediately returned.

His trial on the new charges was set for July 16.

According to online court records, Mr. Keilholtz pleaded guilty in Frederick County in November 2006 to driving while impaired by alcohol. He was fined $500, given a suspended one-year jail term and placed on two years of supervised probation.

In January 2002, he was convicted in Frederick County of another drunken-driving charge. He was fined $300, given a suspended one-year jail term and placed on three years of supervised probation.

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