Attorney says his client was trying to help runaway Madison
The attorney for a Maryland man accused of helping a 16-year-old Hanover-area runaway hide from her parents said he doesn't believe the felony charge against his client is appropriate.
"A felony is overkill," criminal defense attorney Steve Rice told The York Dispatch. "It lacks a sense of proportion, considering all the relevant circumstances."
His client, Richard J. Hood Jr., was arraigned Friday by District Judge James Miner and released on $10,000 unsecured bail. That means he didn't have to post any money to remain free but could forfeit that amount if he fails to attend future court proceedings.
Hood, who turns 24 this month, is charged with the third-degree felony of concealment of the whereabouts of a child and the first-degree misdemeanor of corruption of a minor, court records state.
West Manheim Township Police allege Hood hid Madison Krumrine from the night of March 23 until March 28, when she was found hiding under a pile of clothing at his 29587 Jennifer Drive home in Mechanicsville, which is located in St. Mary's County, charging documents state.
'There's more to this': Rice said he is just now beginning to conduct his own investigation and said he thinks the alleged victim "certainly had some issues" that contributed to what happened.
"There's more to this case than meets the eye," he said. "If you look at the charges, you would think he kidnapped her. And it was anything but that."
Rice said Hood was trying to help Madison.
"She didn't want to go home," the attorney said. "Usually there are reasons for that."
Rice also said his impression of Hood and Hood's family is that they are good people.
The background: Madison's father, Keith Krumrine, called police March 24 to report his daughter missing, saying he'd last seen her the night of March 23, police said.
The teen had left a note in her room that read, in part, "I'm running away — I'm sorry — I'll be OK," according to documents, which state Madison had run away in January but was quickly found by police. She'd left behind her cellphone in her bedroom.
Investigators learned that Madison had been communicating with Hood in January via the Internet and that she told Hood she was 18 years old, documents state.
Keith Krumrine called Hood when he learned of the communication and informed him of Madison's age and warned Hood to stay away from her, police said.
Instead, Hood took Madison to Maryland on March 3, police allege — about three weeks before she ran away. But she returned home on her own.
After Madison ran away, her father called Hood on March 24 and demanded to know her whereabouts, telling Hood police were going to his home. But Hood denied knowing where Madison was, documents state.
First search: The same day, sheriff's deputies in St. Mary's County searched Hood's home but didn't find Madison, police said.
West Manheim Township investigators called Hood on March 25 and repeatedly told him he would be arrested if he was hiding Madison, but Hood again insisted he didn't know where she was, according to documents.
On March 27, a 22-year-old man from West Virginia contacted police and said he'd spoken with Madison through a social media chat app in early March and that she told him she was 20 years old, documents state. That man then gave police the names of several other social media sites she used, and investigators later determined the man never met Madison in person.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Service searched Hood's home again on March 28 and found Madison's Bible, but Hood still denied knowing where she was, according to police.
"At no time during the three hours plus (that) marshals were at the defendant's residence did he reveal (Madison) was there, nor did (Madison) seek assistance or reveal her presence," documents state.
Found hiding: Marshals searched the home again the same day, which is when they found Madison hiding under a pile of clothing in Hood's bedroom, according to charging documents.
She had cut and colored her hair using hair dye bought by Hood, according to police, who also allege Hood bought the teen a prepaid cellphone she could use to communicate with him. Hood picked up Madison the night of March 23 after she slipped out of her home, according to police.
After she was found, Madison told authorities she voluntarily left home and had previously lied to her parents about her whereabouts so she could secretly meet with Hood, documents state.
While Madison was missing, hundreds of community volunteers searched West Manheim Township on foot in an effort to find her.
At the time, Keith Krumrine told the media it was as if his daughter "disappeared off the face of the earth."
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.