MURDER USA: Would-be cop killer Ernesto Viado ended Deputy Darryl Greb’s career as a lawman; doing hard time in Hagerstown prison
LEXINGTON PARK, MD. — Ernesto Javier Viado, now forty-five years old, attempted to murder St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Deputy Darryl Greb on January 18, 1995. Deputy Greb was working the midnight shift in the sometimes-dangerous town of Lexington Park, Md., about three blocks from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. The base is the premier testing location for the Navy as well as the site of the NAVAIR Command headquarters.
Viado was convicted In Prince George’s County Circuit Court, as the case was moved from St. Mary’s County due to pre-trial publicity, at the request of the defense attorney and presently Circuit Court Judge David Densford. Densford represented the would-be cop killer and lost the case at trial, with his client found guilty of first-degree attempted murder, use of a handgun in a violent crime and battery.
Greb was driving his marked patrol unit on Midway Drive when he stopped to investigate a street robbery taking place as Viado was attempting to rob Chick Nolan. Viado fired a gun at Greb and took off at a high rate of speed down Midway Drive where he tried to turn onto a side street and slammed into a tree. Viado took off on foot but was soon tracked down by a K-9 dog to his apartment a few blocks away near Liberty Street in Lexington Park.
Deputy Greb, even though seriously wounded in his arm, managed to fire several rounds back at Viado as the desperado attempted to flee.
With Viado at the scene of the attempted robbery of Francis Nolan was William Terrance Campbell. Campbell told police that Viado had bragged about robbing someone in Norfolk, Va. Circuit Court Judge C. Clarke Raley ruled that Campbell could testify about Viado planning to rob someone that night in Lexington Park but not about the Norfolk crime, where a warrant for Viado was outstanding. Deputy States Attorney Christy Chesser, who also now is Judge, sitting in the District Court of Maryland in St. Mary’s County, told the jurors that the bungled robbery of Nolan preceded Viado shooting Deputy Greb.
On Oct. 6, 1995, Viado was sentenced after being convicted by a jury of nine men and three women in August of that year.
A Signal 13 had already brought a tremendous response of off-duty and on-duty deputies and Maryland State Troopers, all of whom sped through the night to the aid of their fellow downed officer.
The first law officer to arrive at the scene of the shooting was the shift commander, Sgt. George Kramer, who committed Nolan to the custody of a reporter while he aided Greb. A Signal 13 had already brought a tremendous response of off-duty and on-duty deputies and Maryland State Troopers, all of whom sped through the night to the aid of their fellow downed officer.
Twenty-two years later Ernesto Javier Malanum Viado is still kicking and cooling his heels in the Maryland State Prison at Roxbury in Hagerstown, Md.
Greb was forced to retire after about six years on the job and end his career as a law enforcement officer. He had suffered a painful paralysis of his hand and extensive therapy and treatment. Greb was later hired by the St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department to conduct background investigations.
William Terrance Campbell is also being hosted by the taxpayers of Maryland but is domiciled at the Maryland prison in Jessup, Md.
After being convicted in 2014 of drug distribution in St. Mary’s Circuit Court, Campbell who had been living in Park Hall, Md., was sentenced to twelve years in prison. In a plea deal with his lawyer, Kevin Hill, and St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz the deal for the lengthy prison term included a recommendation to send him to the Patuxent Institution, which is a country-club setting for nutty prisoners. On Dec. 16, 2016, Campbell’s attorney filed a motion to explore drug and alcohol evaluation for his client as part of the reconsideration of the sentence of twelve years. It remains to be seen if Judge Densford would recuse himself should the motion to spring his former client’s partner in crime come before his court, as Judge Raley retired.
Campbell was never charged in the shooting and robbery involving Deputy Greb and Nolan. He did testify in the case against Viado and as is customary, the prosecutor makes deals with criminals who are witnesses.