- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 6, 2003


   A man sought by police after the bodies of his wife and her parents were found in Anne Arundel County shot himself in the head after being pulled over by state troopers in West Virginia yesterday afternoon, police said.
   Jack Lee Durrett Jr., 43, was taken to the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was in critical condition last night, a hospital administrator said.
   While Mr. Durrett was not officially labeled a suspect, police were on the lookout yesterday for him and his estranged wife’s dark blue 2003 Nissan Maxima.
   Diana Lynne Durrett, 40, and her parents, Nathaniel Kunes, 61, and Mary Kunes, 58, of Scottsdale, Ariz., were found fatally shot early yesterday in the Durretts’ Pasadena, Md., home in the 8100 block of Jade Crossing Court.
   The Durretts’ 6-year-old son was not at home at the time. Neighbors said he is staying with relatives.
   “He’s out of harm’s way and has no involvement in this situation,” Anne Arundel County Police Officer Charles Ravenell said.
   Mr. and Mrs. Durrett were involved in a dispute about custody of the boy and were scheduled to appear in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis tomorrow.
   When police posted the lookout for Mr. Durrett, they warned that he might be armed, Officer Ravenell said.
   Detectives in Maryland tracked a cell phone to help them locate Mr. Durrett, Officer Ravenell said.
   “They were able to warn police in West Virginia this was a possible location for him,” said Officer Ravenell, who declined to elaborate.
   About 3 p.m. yesterday, a West Virginia trooper saw the blue Nissan near the intersection of U.S. 220 and U.S. 33 in Franklin and began following it. The Nissan pulled into a secluded area.
   The driver walked into the woods. Police said they heard gunshots soon afterward and found Mr. Durrett on the ground with head wounds.
   Baltimore County police had been to Reisterstown about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, checking on a potential suicide at Mr. Durrett’s home in the 500 block of Deacon Circle.
   When they learned that Mr. Durrett also had an address in Pasadena, they called Anne Arundel County police, Officer Shawn Vinson said.
   Officers arrived at the Jade Crossing Court home about 1 a.m. yesterday.
   “One of our officers looked inside and could see a subject lying on the floor,” Officer Ravenell said. Officers forced their way into to home “and found the other two.”
   Police determined that Mrs. Durrett’s new Nissan Maxima was missing, and broadcast an alert for it and Mr. Durrett.
   A neighbor told police he may have heard the gunshots between 11:30 and 11:50 p.m. Tuesday as he was going to bed.
   “I heard some noise, like a weird tapping,” said Robert K. Haag, 35, a car salesman who lives across the street.
   “It was one of those things, like the sixth sense,” Mr. Haag said, explaining that he got up, looked out the window, saw nothing and went back to bed to resume reading a book.
   Mr. Haag later noted that an older burgundy Maxima, which he had seen before and apparently belonged to Mr. Durrett, was still parked nearby. Also parked was a silver Cadillac, apparently rented by Mr. and Mrs. Kunes.
   Police knocked on Mr. Haag’s door about 4:30 a.m. He told them about the “weird tappings” he had heard.
   On Easter Sunday, Mr. Haag had seen Mrs. Durrett laying and watering sod in her yard while her son, Nathaniel, named after his grandfather, rode a bicycle nearby.
   All three victims were shot in the upper body.
   The Annapolis Capital reported yesterday that court records show the couple was married in Odenton, Md., in 1989. Mrs. Durrett filed for divorce March 13, 2001. The couple separated three months later and failed at a last attempt for reconciliation in September 2001.
   Court papers stated that Mrs. Durrett would share custody of their son if Mr. Durrett “can learn to control his anger.” The court issued a protective order July 19 after she said Mr. Durrett pushed her during an argument in front of their son.
    Mr. Durrett filed a counterdivorce suit Jan. 14, claiming his wife abused dietary drugs, made up accusations of abuse, cried persistently and “acted in an erratic and volatile fashion.”
   Mr. Durrett has an electrical engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University and is president of Coordinated Power Engineering in Millersville, Md., according to the newspaper.
    This article is based in part on wire service reports.
   

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