- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2011

A man accused of brutally slaying his estranged wife and 11-year-old stepson in October was indicted Thursday on charges of murder and kidnapping related to their deaths.

Initially prosecutors charged Curtis Lopez, 45, only in the death of his wife, Jane McQuain, who was found beaten and fatally stabbed on her bed in her Germantown home. The body of her son, William McQuain, was found days later in a wooded area in Clarksburg. His skull had been crushed and a baseball bat, the weapon authorities think was used to kill him, was found nearby.

Montgomery County prosecutors are still exploring the death penalty as possible punishment in the case, though they are unsure whether the evidence will meet Maryland’s high standards for capital punishment.

“It hasn’t been determined if it’s even eligible yet,” Deputy State’s Attorney John Maloney said, adding that either “biological evidence,” a confession or video of the crime is needed to qualify.

Mr. Lopez is scheduled for arraignment in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Jan. 6.

In addition to the murder charges for each of the victims, Mr. Lopez has been charged with two counts of kidnapping. Prosecutors say he picked up his stepson from a sleepover Oct. 1, the day they believe he was killed.

That same day, the two are seen together on surveillance footage at a storage facility and gas station near where William’s body was found. In the video, William is wearing the same clothes as when his body was discovered. Montgomery County police said he appeared in the video to be in a “playful mood with no signs of stress.”

An additional robbery charge filed against Mr. Lopez stems from a number of items taken from Jane McQuain’s home, including her 2011 Honda CRV, which was found in Mr. Lopez’s possession when he was arrested Nov. 2 at a hotel in Charlotte, N.C., prosecutors said.

He also carried one of her credit cards and 18 copies of their marriage certificate, according to a search warrant filed in the case. A 24-year-old woman with Mr. Lopez when he was arrested at the hotel said she was his girlfriend and thought the SUV belonged to his mother.



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