Murder USA: killers caught after murdering Cpl. Ted Wolf twenty-five years ago

 

 

Maryland State Trooper on traffic stop in unmarked unit as police seek killers. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Maryland State Trooper on traffic stop in unmarked unit as police seek killers. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

TROOPER’S LEGACY LIVES ON AFTER HIS ULTIMATE SACRIFICE 25 YEARS AGO

Cpl. Ted Wolf MSP

Cpl. Ted Wolf MSP

UPDATE WITH INFO ON WHAT HAPPENED TO THE KILLERS

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – When the members of Trooper Candidate Class 143 hold a special ceremony early this afternoon at the State Police Academy, they will honor and remember a state trooper who gave his life in the line of duty before many of them were born, but whose legacy continues to inspire the men and women of the Maryland State Police.

Corporal Theodore D. “Ted” Wolf, 40, a 16-year veteran of the Maryland State Police, was shot and killed early on the morning of March 29, 1990. Assigned to the Waterloo Barrack, Corporal Wolf was patrolling I-95 near Rt. 175, when he stopped a vehicle for speeding. He did not know the vehicle was stolen and occupied by two career criminals who had recently been convicted of armed robbery and were due to start their sentences in a few days.

At about 4:00 a.m. that day, an off-duty Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police officer stopped when he saw the patrol car on the shoulder with its emergency lights on and no other vehicle around. He found Cpl. Wolf in the front seat of the patrol car. Following an intense and extensive investigation, the two suspects were arrested and convicted of the murder of Cpl. Wolf.

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Cpl. Wolf left behind his wife, Ginni, his sons, Ted, Greg, and Nick, and his parents, Jane and Leroy. Among the thousands of mourners who visited the funeral home were President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara. Lt. Robert Johnson, commander of the Waterloo Barrack at the time, said President Bush told Cpl. Wolf’s sons “….they should be proud of their dad because he was in law enforcement and that these days, it’s a particularly important career.” Lt. Johnson said the President left the funeral home with tears in his eyes.

Cpl. Wolf began his training at the Maryland State Police Academy in January, 1974, as a member of the 72nd Trooper Candidate Class. Members of his class remembered him as ‘one of the most athletic persons’ they had ever seen. His first son, Ted Jr., was born while Cpl. Wolf was in Academy training at the firearms range.

Cpl. Wolf’s file was full of commendations and letters of appreciation. His work ethic was unequaled and his example was followed by the troopers he supervised, the other troopers at the Waterloo Barrack, and troopers throughout the Department. When he was not working, Cpl. Wolf was spending time with his three sons, or playing softball with the Maryland State Police softball team.

His performance as a trooper earned him nominations that included Trooper of the Year, a lifesaving award, Maryland State Police Alumni Association Trooper of the Year, Maryland Law Enforcement Officer Association Police Officer of the Year, and multiple Employee of the Month awards at the barrack. In February 1990, Lt. Johnson nominated Cpl. Wolf for the Baltimore Evening Sun’s Police Officer of the Year Award. Cpl. Wolf attended the Evening Sun’s award ceremony on March 25th, four days before he was murdered.

Although Cpl. Wolf only served 16 years as a trooper before his life was taken, his example and memory have never stopped inspiring the men and women who have worn the same uniform since. Just yesterday, Colonel William M. Pallozzi took the oath of office as Superintendent of the Maryland State Police. Colonel Pallozzi was assigned to the Waterloo Barrack when he graduated from the State Police Academy in 1989. To this day, he remembers instruction and guidance given to him by Cpl. Wolf and the influence Cpl. Wolf’s work ethic had on him. Colonel Pallozzi also remembers talking with Cpl. Wolf and other troopers that night during a shift change as he went off duty. Hours later, then Trooper Pallozzi would be recalled to duty to assist in the investigation of Cpl. Wolf’s murder.

The current commander of the Waterloo Barrack, Lt. Shane Bolger, was just 15 when Cpl. Wolf was killed, but he clearly remembers when it happened. “He set the example for young troopers like me, when I graduated in 1996,” Lt. Bolger said. “Cpl. Wolf was supposed to be off the night he was killed. He said he had to come in for duty because that was the first night the new trooper he had just trained would be patrolling on his own. You don’t often see that type of connection, dedication, and devotion.”

Cpl. Ted Wolf, a loving husband, father, and outstanding Maryland state trooper, gave his life while serving the citizens of this state 25 years ago. He has not been forgotten by his fellow troopers. His memory is carried in their hearts each day as they work to serve and protect our citizens, while upholding the legacy of “Maryland’s finest.”

THE KILLERS:

Eric Joseph Tirado

Sentencing Net Totals
Life Sentence plus 30 Years, 0 Months, 0 Days, 0 Hours is Imposed.
Serve Time: Yrs:30Mos:0Days:0Hours:0
Probation : Yrs:0Mos:0Days:0Hours:0
Fine Amount: 0Fine Due Date:CWS Hours:0Credit Time Served:0

 Francisco Rodriquez

: RODRIQUEZ, FRANCISCO
Race: WHITE, CAUCASIAN, ASIATIC INDIAN, ARAB
Sex: MHeight:511Weight:155DOB:03/21/1970
Address: LKA:2301 JEFFERSON DAVIS HWY
City: ARLINGTONState:VAZip Code:22206 – 0000

COURT RECORDS ARE SEALED FROM THE PUBLIC VIEW TO ….PROTECT A COP-KILLER!

From Baltimore Sun: Guilty plea draws deal that widow criticizes as lenient

Jan. 25, 1992 — A New York man pleaded guilty yesterday in the slaying of state police Cpl. Theodore D. Wolf and was sentenced to life in prison as part of a deal with prosecutors that angered the trooper’s widow.

Francisco Rodriguez, 21, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Howard County Circuit Court.

He is eligible for parole under the sentence, but he must first finish a 15-year federal sentence on unrelated drug charges.

Ginny Wolf, the trooper’s widow, called the sentence “extremely lenient.”

She had appealed to Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. to reject the plea agreement, which the judge sealed.

“I just think this points out one of Ted’s major concerns — the leniency of the criminal justice system toward violent criminals,” Mrs. Wolf said. “I believe that Ted was sold out for whatever reasons, in the interests of economics or time.”

Friends of the slain trooper distributed fliers with “Sold Out” stamped in red across his photo outside the courthouse.

Corporal Wolf, 40, was shot twice in the head March 29, 1990, after he had stopped Rodriguez and Eric Tirado for speeding on Interstate 95 in Jessup.

The two men were heading home to New York from Virginia in a stolen Chevrolet Nova.

Identified as the gunman in the shooting, Tirado, 27, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced last July to life in prison without parole after a seven-week trial.

Mrs. Wolf said she was particularly frustrated that the terms and conditions of Rodriguez’s plea agreement are under a court-ordered seal, which in her opinion eliminates any accountability.

“The state’s attorney’s office has failed to convince me that this is in the interest of justice,” she said.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy G. Wolf said that the lTC terms of the plea were placed under seal for “institutional security reasons” and added that the seal prohibits him from elaborating.

He said that the disposition of the case was appropriate, after weighing all the factors involved

“I think everything was done for a good reason; I know Ginny Wolf is not happy with it,” Mr. Wolf said. “The definition of a good compromise may be when all the parties are mutually unhappy — that may be the situation here.”

Judge Kane could not be reached for comment.

Rodriguez expressed remorse for his crime before Judge Kane imposed the sentence.

“I’m very sorry for the pain I have caused,” he said in a soft voice.

In a statement of facts read in court yesterday, the prosecutor said that Tirado decided the trooper would have to be killed after the two men were pulled over about 3:45 a.m. Tirado and Rodriguez stopped the Nova, and both men got into Corporal Wolf’s cruiser.

Tirado, sitting in the passenger seat next to Corporal Wolf, fired two shots with a .347-caliber Magnum handgun at point-blank range into the trooper’s face while Rodriguez sat in the back seat.

After the shooting, Tirado picked up Corporal Wolf’s citation and warning books and drove with Rodriguez to Lansdowne, where they abandoned the car. They made their way to Baltimore and had relatives in New York wire them money to get home.

Identified as the gunman in the shooting, Tirado, 27, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced last July to life in prison without parole after a seven-week trial.

Mrs. Wolf said she was particularly frustrated that the terms and conditions of Rodriguez’s plea agreement are under a court-ordered seal, which in her opinion eliminates any accountability.

“The state’s attorney’s office has failed to convince me that this is in the interest of justice,” she said.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy G. Wolf said that the lTC terms of the plea were placed under seal for “institutional security reasons” and added that the seal prohibits him from elaborating.

He said that the disposition of the case was appropriate, after weighing all the factors involved.

Mr. Wolf said that Rodriguez confessed his role in the shooting to Edgar Duvarie, a former friend and co-worker of Tirado’s.

Mr. Duvarie, a key state’s witness at Tirado’s trial, said that Tirado and Rodriguez shot the trooper because both men were soon to begin serving sentences on weapons convictions and didn’t want to risk any more jail time.

 Judge bars public view of plea deal arranged by Howard County States Attorney; Judge stuck with the deal

 

1998 Court of Appeals Ruling on attempt to overturn Plea Deal

 

Tirado attempt to overturn conviction denied

 

From Columbia Flyer:
7/28/2004 — The second assailant in the case, Francisco Rodriguez, is completing a 15-year sentence for his role in the case at the Western Correctional Institute in Cumberland, and is due to be released in late October, Kirwan said. Rodriguez served 12 years of a 14-year sentence in the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., for an unrelated drug conviction before being released to the custody of Maryland officials in 2004, Kirwan said.

 

 

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