Decades ago, in a Carroll County town located 30 miles north of Baltimore, Maryland, Robert Myers (“Bobby”) was a successful accountant. He was unhappy in his 12-year marriage to Mary Ruth, however, and fantasized about ending it. Furthermore, he hoped to end it without having to pay her any portion of the $1.5 million estate the couple had accumulated.
Periodically, usually while intoxicated, he’d ask friends and patrons of the bars and restaurants he frequented if they knew anyone who would murder Mary Ruth. Most dismissed his inquiries as the result of the large quantity of alcohol Bobby was consuming daily.
Bobby met and had three dates with “Tina,” a waitress who’d recently moved to Maryland. She suggested an ex-boyfriend of hers, Dan Chadderton, would be willing to murder Mary Ruth for $10,000. Within a few weeks, this blood money was paid and Mary Ruth was found dead, having been shot nine times inside the family abode. The victim was shot in her bedroom, in the well-appointed home situated on 21 acres of land, nestled in the beautiful and serene horse-farm countryside.
Within four days of Mary Ruth’s murder and funeral, Tina moved in to the family house. She was willing to overlook the bedroom carpet which was matted with Mary Ruth’s blood. Within the month, Tina and Bobby flew to Bermuda and were married in a religious ceremony at St. Andrews Church.
The newlyweds returned to their home in Carroll County. For the next two years, they lived under intense police scrutiny. In the time it took to accumulate enough evidence to charge Tina and Bobby with murder, they had two children of their own. During that same time period, Tina used Myers’ money to purchase expensive jewelry, clothes (including mink and fox coats) and a new BMW.
Eventually, the State Police and the local State’s Attorney’s Office coordinated, using bugging devices, wiretaps and carefully recorded witness statements to accumulate enough evidence to bring indictments against Bobby, Tina and Chadderton.
The prosecutors insisted that justice required that all three defendants should be executed – there was no possibility of any guilty pleas. Soon after the indictments, I was requested by the State Public Defender to represent Robert Myers. I readily agreed. Phillip Sutley, Esq., who had been representing both Tina and Bobby from the beginning of the investigation, then only represented Tina. In a stunning betrayal, Sutley subsequently coordinated a deal in which Tina testified against Bobby in exchange for her freedom, effectively guaranteeing his former client would die in the gas chamber.
Never tell your lawyer that you are guilty, despite what you see in the movies. Admitting guilt to your attorney ensures he or she will not be able to fight as strongly for you spiritually, emotionally or factually. Not admitting your guilt keeps him wondering, and puts you in a stronger position should you decide to attack his representation at a later time, because he will not be in a position to testify against you.
The information you share with your lawyer is privileged, and cannot ethically be divulged unless you, in a subsequent proceeding, attack the manner in which the defense was conducted. After Myers received a life term, and his conviction had been upheld on appeal, he challenged the way that I had conducted his defense. In so doing, he released me from my obligation to keep all of our conversations confidential.
This account is a rare opportunity to examine the evidence accumulated by the State over a two-year period. It’s a chance to follow a defense attorney’s strategy and actions in a capital contract murder case. This is a detailed account of the client’s participation in the cold-blooded, premeditated murder of his wife and the client’s verbatim admissions that he was guilty as charged.
This website, a companion to the book, I’m Not Really Guilty, is for those readers of True Crime stories who are sometimes frustrated by the editing of materials that is so often required. It contains all the facts revealed to the defense counsel - thousands of pages of relevant materials accumulated during the Myers murder case, and permits those interested to immerse themselves in details which would not normally be available to them. I invite you to read as much or as little as you choose, and hope it provides insight and information you may hope to obtain regarding this tragic case.
Anton J.S. Keating, Esq.