CHURCH HILL, MD. Police say that three men and a juvenile were arrested by Maryland Natural Police officers for a string of thefts of hunting equipment on the Eastern Shore over a three-month period. One of the accused has previously pleaded guilty to theft and currently has a burglary charge on the stet docket as a result of a plea deal from Queen Anne’s County States Attorney Lance Richardson.
Matthew Thomas Waddell, 19, of 211 Pinder Hill Road, Church Hill, Md., was charged on Nov. 26 in Queen Anne’s County District Court with twelve criminal counts in connection with the theft of deer stands and Canadian Goose decoys.
Matthew Waddell was charged with conspiracy, a break-in and burglary at a Church Hill farm, trespassing, and failing to record a deer kill on his hunting license. He was ordered held on a $20,000 bond. His preliminary hearing in Queen Anne’s District Court will be on Dec. 29, 2014.
Matthew Waddell has a criminal record for burglary. On Jan. 2, 2014, he pleaded guilty to theft charges in District Court in Queen Anne’s County. He was ordered to pay restitution of $1,000 in a plea deal with the Queen Anne’s County States Attorney. The plea deal with Matthew Waddell called for thirty days in jail and no fine was assessed. Charges of trespassing, theft and burglary were put on the stet docket. The plea deal with States Attorney Lance Richardson called for the sentence of thirty days to be suspended, meaning that Waddell had to pay back in restitution what he admitted he stole; he didn’t go to jail and didn’t have to pay a fine. Representing Waddell for the plea deal was Public Defender James D. Kruger, whose salary is paid by the taxpayers of Maryland.
Waddell’s cousin, Jeremy Michael Waddell, 18, of Millington, apparently entering the family business, was charged with two counts in connection with the theft of tree stand. He was released on his own personal recognizance. His preliminary hearing will be Dec. 24th in Queen Anne’s District Court.
Jordan Blaine Kimble, 18, of Church Hill, was charged with ten counts in connection with the theft of deer stands, hunting decoys and conspiracy to steal.
The three are charged with the break-in and burglary at a Church Hill farm.
Kimble was ordered held on a $10,000 bond. His preliminary hearing in Queen Anne’s District Court is set for Dec. 29.
The 16-year-old male, charged as a juvenile for his part in the theft of a tree stand, is from Church Hill. His case was referred to the Queen Anne’s Department of Juvenile Services.
The penalties range from fines of $500 to a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Much of the property was recovered and returned by NRP officers to the five victims.
The investigation began on Nov. 4, when one of the victims reported the theft of two, two-man tree stands from a farm used by his small Church Hill hunt club. Officers quickly learned of other thefts from hunting properties, a duck blind, and a farm storage building.
Upon questioning, the Waddell’s acknowledged placing one of the stolen tree stands on their newly obtained hunting property in Millington. Matthew Waddell and Kimble admitted stealing decoys from a blind on the Chester River and a farm building. They admitted to police that they had split the looted decoys between them.
Matthew Waddell was charged by NRP Officer Brandon Davis. His taxpayer-provided public defender is Michael Pappafotis, of Centreville.