- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2001

Witnesses in Montgomery County (Md.) Circuit Court yesterday established a motive for the murders of a quadriplegic boy, his mother and nurse eight years ago.

The motive, witnesses said in the sixth day of the retrial of James Edward Perry, was $1.4 million to be inherited from the estate of 8-year-old Trevor Horn by his father, Lawrence Horn, 61, who is serving three life prison sentences for hiring Perry to commit the murders in the Layhill community east of Rockville.

This is the second trial for Perry, 52. His 1995 conviction and death sentence were overturned by Maryland's Court of Appeals on grounds that a tape recording of a 22-second telephone conversation between Horn Mr. Perry should not have been admitted as evidence in the first trial.

The three were killed early March 3, 1993, in accord with instructions from a book, "Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors," bought by Perry, an ex-convict and Detroit street preacher.

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted Horn and Perry in July 1994. By then, Horn, a Los Angeles recording engineer, was involved in court proceedings to administer Trevor's estate, consisting of money paid for brain damage Trevor suffered when he and his twin sister were born at Children's Hospital in 1985.

An independent administrator was appointed to oversee Trevor's estate, attorney Glenn M. Cooper testified, because, "At the time, we had the belief that Mr. Horn had something to do with the murders."

A Montgomery County circuit judge appointed Marsha Fidis as the administrator. She testified that the $1.4 million in Trevor's estate would have gone tax-free and "exclusively" to Horn.

In opening statements, Deputy State's Attorney John McCarthy told the 16-woman, two-man jury that, before Trevor's death, Horn owed $65,000 to his mother and was $16,000 in arrears in child-support payments.

Earlier yesterday, Detective Craig Wittenberger testified to finding duct tape, discarded credit cards, muddy tracks and boots apparently linking Perry to the killings.

The duct tape and muddy tracks were at the home of Trevor and his mother, Mildred Elizabeth Maree Horn 43, an American Airlines flight attendant, in the 13500 block of North Gate Drive.

Detective Wittenberger said the credit cards and more duct tape were found along Route 28, which could have been the route Perry used for his one-night stay at a Days Inn on Shady Grove Road. More duct tape and the boots were found after obtaining a search warrant for Perry's house in Detroit.

Dr. Donald Wright, retired medical examiner, testified that Mrs. Horn died from three small-caliber bullet wounds to the head and nurse Janice Roberts Saunders, 38, died after two shots to the head. Each woman had been shot in the right eye just like the "Hit Man" book instructed.

Trevor died of suffocation "within a minute" after the tube on his respirator was pulled loose, Dr. Wright said.

Gunshot specialist Robert Spalding, a former FBI agent, testified that blood splatters indicate that at least one shot that hit Mrs. Horn probably was fired as she lay in the foyer of her home.

Blood splatters, especially on the left sleeve of her sweat shirt, indicated Mrs. Saunders had her arm stretched toward the shooter and she probably was standing, Mr. Spalding said.

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