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State’s case against sisters scheduled for May trial

(L) Melissa Marie Russell (R) Melinda Ann Allen


La Plata, MD - Two sisters, both indicted on numerous charges—including home invasion and assault—are currently scheduled to stand trial in Charles County Circuit this May, court documents stated. The defendants—Melissa Marie Russell, 33; and Melinda Ann Allen, 31, both of Waldorf; were indicted Dec. 14 in connection with a Nov. 17 incident in which they allegedly broke into a residence in Indian Head, accosted three women and stabbed two of them. As they were fleeing the area, the van Russell and Allen were in struck and damaged a vehicle parked outside the house. Witnesses told police they believed the collision was intentional. Police apprehended Russell and Allen shortly after the incident. Both women have since been released on $50,000 bond.

Investigators for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office have reported the Nov. 17 incident was sparked by a dispute among the defendants and victims earlier in the day.

Russell and Allen were both indicted on 15 counts—one count each of home invasion, malicious destruction of property over $1,000 and conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substance; two counts each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and use of a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure; and six counts charging conspiracy related to the home invasion and assaults.

A court docket summary indicated a Maryland Department of Health evaluation of Russell was pending. A preliminary hearing for Allen was held Jan. 11. Allen is being represented by Cynthia S. Panos of the Public Defenders’ Office. Russell is being represented by Gerald J. Riviello, also of the Public Defenders’ Office.

The trial for Russell and Allen is tentatively set for May 13. Paul D. Halliday and Constance B. Kopelman of the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office will be prosecuting the case.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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