Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beltsville, MD: Beltsville man accused of killing ex-girlfriend

A Beltsville man slit his ex-girlfriend’s throat — leaving her dead in the basement of her Berwyn Heights home — then cut his wrists after police spotted him in the College Park area Monday, authorities said.

Police said Andrew Kugler was wanted in connection with the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, Amber Danielle Schinault, 36, when Prince George’s County police saw him in a car near Calvert Road and Bowdoin Avenue. The officers briefly followed Kugler, whose car rolled to a stop at the intersection, said Sgt. Sonya Rorls, a Prince George’s police spokeswoman.

Rorls said that when the officers approached on foot, they found Kugler, 36, with self-inflicted cuts on his wrists. He was taken to a hospital, where he remained in stable condition Monday afternoon, Rorls said. Court records indicate that he was charged with second-degree murder.

About 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Rorls said, officers had found Schinault dead inside her home in the 8600 block of 57th Avenue after someone called 911 to ask police to check on her. Schinault’s throat had been cut, Rorls said, and detectives quickly identified Kugler as a suspect.

Court records show that Schinault had taken out a protective order against Kugler last month, days after he was accused of assaulting her.

Rorls said witnesses had seen Schinault enter her home about 10 p.m. Saturday, so detectives think Kugler attacked her between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Rorls declined to say what evidence detectives had to link Kugler to the slaying and said they are still investigating how the suspect got into the house.

Rorls noted that police had charged Kugler with assaulting Schinault last month. In that incident, Rorls said, Schinault jumped onto the hood of Kugler’s car as he tried to drive away. Some of Schinault’s fingers were severed during the incident, Rorls said.

Online court records indicate that Kugler, who was charged with reckless endangerment in addition to first- and second-degree assault, posted bond and was released from jail the same day he was arrested. Schinault sought the protective order days later, and Kugler was ordered to stay away from her and her home, the records show.

Schinault’s family declined to comment Monday, and Kugler’s relatives could not be reached.

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