Boy was beaten in head with baseball bat before he died, sources say | Crime
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/AP) - The Charlotte man accused of killing his wife in Maryland, and suspected in the death of his stepson is back in Maryland, jail records show.
Prosecutors say the 11-year-old Maryland boy found dead in woods last month was beaten in the head by his stepfather with a baseball bat that was left near the child's body.
Authorities revealed the new details Thursday as Curtis M. Lopez, 45, was ordered held without bond in the killing of his estranged wife, Jane McQuain. Prosecutors plan to charge Lopez with killing McQuain's son, William.
Lopez appeared in court via video hookup from the Montgomery County jail.
Prosecutors say a blood-smeared 30-pound weight was found in McQuain's apartment in Germantown, where police discovered her body Oct. 12. He said Jane McQuain was killed in her sleep.
Lopez's lawyer called the evidence circumstantial.
Lopez, 45, was released from the Mecklenburg County jail early Tuesday morning. Lopez waived extradition on October 17, which opened the door for the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland to make arrangements to transport Lopez back to Maryland.
Lopez arrived in Maryland just before 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to a news release from the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department.
Lopez is charged with killing his wife, Jane McQuain, 51, in the couple's Germantown, Maryland condo last month and her 11-year-old son William McQuain. After McQuain's death, police issued an AMBER Alert to find McQuain's son, William and her SUV.
Police found the boy's body in a wooded area October 18. Clothes found on the body match the clothes McQuain was seen wearing in a videotape obtained by detectives, police said. The tape, from a storage facility, shows William McQuain and Lopez. Police said the video was from October 1. They believe that is the day William died.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Montgomery County ruled that William died from blunt force trauma to the head and Jane McQuain died from blunt force trauma and stab wounds.
"It just seems that maybe towards the end it was all about him wanting money from her," said Kimberly Mouzan, a friend of the McQuains. "I think that she stood her ground with him. She's not the same woman that he married. She [had] changed, she [had] grown, she [had] become a better person; he probably couldn't control her like he had some years ago."
Mouzan said William "was a real fun, free-spirited" child who "got along great with everybody."
Police found Lopez Oct at the Econo Lodge on East Independence Boulevard in Charlotte. According to a search warrant, made public Tuesday, detectives found a credit card belonging to Jane McQuain in the motel room where Lopez was staying.
Police also found a woman, Pleshette Caldwell, with Lopez in the room.
Caldwell was driving McQuain's SUV Wednesday, when she was involved in a crash on Tryon St., CMPD records show. Caldwell provided police with a cell phone number that traced back to an account listed to Lopez, the warrant said.
Lopez, who has Mint Hill and Charlotte addresses, records showed, is William's stepfather.
Based on what a police spokesperson called specific tips, search crews scoured parks and areas along Maryland interstates Monday and Tuesday.
After Lopez's extradition hearing, a friend of Lopez talked to a WBTV outside the courthouse. Kevin, who would not provide his last name, said he was there to show support for Lopez, who he knew from where they worked for some time. He said he had heard many conversations between Lopez and McQuain in the past and that they were not heated.
"He loved her," said Kevin, who added that he was hopeful William would be found. "It's not whether I agree with him or not it just someone needs to be here in support of him," Kevin said for why he was there.
Another man walked out of court and said "he's innocent."
Lopez's lawyer, Kevin Tutley would not comment on the case.
The search warrant revealed more clues in their investigation. Among the items detectives found in the motel room, cash, various clothing, a bookbag and a purse. Inside the SUV, police found several cell phones.
Maryland police said McQuain and her son's cell phones were missing from her home. Other items, included 18 copies of a marriage certificate.
According to the warrant, Caldwell told police McQuain took a train to visit family in Philadelphia in mid September. She said Lopez returned the October 1 or 2 driving McQuain's car.
Lopez had previously served time in a Pennsylvania prison after a conviction for a violent crime in Dauphin County in 1987. He served more than 10 years and was released on parole in 2000, prison officials said.
The official also said Jane McQuain was originally from Dauphin Co. The Washington Post was reporting McQuain had testified on Lopez's behalf during the trial.
Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.