MURDER USA Blood of Mark Hatmaker found in van leads cops on trail to ex-convict Richard Brooks
LANSDOWNE, MD. — When family of Mark Hatmaker, who had a long criminal record, reported him missing in November of 2015, police took the report seriously, as the man had been cleaning up his act and performing well in his new role of that of a father of a special needs child.
Mark Hatmaker, of the 3100 block of Freeway Road, in Lansdowne, Md., was last seen on November 24, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. when he left home to meet someone. Relatives reported him missing to Baltimore County Police two days later when they could not get in touch with him. Baltimore County investigators subsequently learned that on November 24, 2015, Hatmaker met with 50-year-old Richard Wayne Brooks, of 954 Forest Street, Baltimore, Md., at the Empire Towers in the 7300 block of Richie Highway 21061. Brooks had a motorhome that had been located close to the location of their meeting but was moved on November 26, 2016.
Police say that investigators also learned that Brooks got someone to rent a U-Haul truck for him around the time of Brook’s meeting with Hatmaker. They located the truck and when they examined it, they found that there had been human blood in the truck that someone had cleaned up. Blood samples from the truck were matched to Hatmaker.
Investigators were able to locate Brooks’ motor-home and found a large amount of suspected human blood and pieces of suspected human tissue inside. Testing later revealed that the blood belonged to Hatmaker. Detectives from the Anne Arundel County Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Richard Wayne Brooks charging him with second-degree murder. He is being held without bail on those charges. Mark Hatmaker’s body was never found.
The homicide remains under joint investigation by the Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Baltimore County Police Department. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call police at 410-887-3943.
The director of the Office of Budget and Finance for Baltimore County, Md., filed a legal complaint about forfeiture of firearms owned by Hatmaker on March 2, 2016.
Hatmaker had been ordered by the District Court for Baltimore City, on a temporary basis to stay away from another party. On April 21, 2015, exactly one year ago, the petitioner who requested the peace order requested the dismissal of the action.
Hatmaker had filed a civil action against Frances D. Clayton in small claims court in Anne Arundel County on March 3, 2015. Clayton filed a response with the court, saying that she did not “do the damage the plaintiff claims.” Court records show that the trial was held on June 24, 2015, with the case status still listed as open.
Hatmaker had been charged with distribution of drugs along with seven counts of narcotics on Dec. 21, 2010 in Howard County District Court. On Jan. 21, 2011, in a plea deal with the Howard County States Attorney, Hatmaker entered a guilty plea to possession of paraphernalia, fined $100 and all of the fine was suspended. All other drug charges were dropped, which is a good indication that Hatmaker may have rolled over on other drug dealers to get his charges dropped. Such actions as ratting out another criminal is also a motive for murder. Andrew Alperstein of Baltimore was Hatmaker’s attorney in this case. Hatmaker was incarcerated from Dec. 21, 2010 until March 4, 2011, which is about the same time he became a father.
On June 23, 2010, Hatmaker was back again the drug dealer make-a-deal-roulette with prosecutors, this time in the District Court for Baltimore County, Md. He was charged with eight counts of dealing drugs and removing labels from prescription drugs by Detective A. M. Brewer and jailed and bailed on the same day.
With his indictment in Baltimore County Circuit Court on the drug dealing charges, his mouthpiece who did wonders for him before was back in action. Facing serious prison time, attorney Alperstein went to bat for the not-so-talented drug dealer and arranged a plea deal on April 4, 2011, to possession of narcotics with just two years in jail and all the other charges dropped. He was given credit for 47 days of time served.
With Maryland’s maniacal system of allowing any reason at all for a Judge to reconsider the sentence, absolutely anything in the land of Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod, a request was filed by Alperstein to modify or reduce the sentence on July 1, 2011. Court records do not reflect the outcome of that request.
A burglary conviction on April 15, 1991, resulted in a long prison sentence of twenty-five years without the possibility of parole. A three-Judge review panel of Baltimore County Judges Timothy J. Martin, Ruth Ann Jakubowski, and Judith C. Ensor did Hatmaker a real favor and on Feb. 9, 2007, revised his sentence he was serving in the Maryland prison system to twenty-five years with the possibility of parole.
Brooks and Hatmaker may have become buddies as both were in the burglary business around Baltimore, as well as being colleagues in the Maryland prison system. Brooks entered a guilty plea to burglary in Baltimore County Circuit Court on June 28, 2006, and was sent to the slammer for eight years with none of his sentence suspended in the deal with the Baltimore County States Attorney. The court records noted that his DNA was required to be taken as part of his sentence, which may have proven handy in the pending murder case.