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Claggett-Brown not guilty of second degree murder

Leonardtown, MD- On day three of the trial against Regina Malvalee Claggett-Brown, 47, of Great Mills the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the charge of second degree murder depraved heart.

Claggett-Brown was also charged in May with involuntary manslaughter, two counts of distributing narcotics, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment.

The jury found her guilty on the two counts of possession and the charge of reckless endangerment. She was acquitted on the charges of distribution and involuntary manslaughter.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for about three hours.
The second degree murder charge was handed down in connection with the October 2016 death of Paul Francis Baxter of Chesapeake Beach. Investigators say Baxter traveled from Chesapeake Beach to Lexington Park to purchase heroin from Claggett-Brown. After ingesting the drugs, Baxter died from an overdose.

During the trial, Stephen Phillips testified that he and Baxter traveled to Lexington Park with the intent of purchasing drugs.

In August, St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard Fritz, along with Governor Larry Hogan, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron, Maryland State Police Col. William Palozzi and St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Eric Sweeny held a press conference to announce the indictments against eight suspected drug dealers in connection with fatal overdose deaths.

This was an aggressive move by Fritz to crackdown on the opioid epidemic. So far this year, there have been 23 deadly overdoses in St. Mary’s County, including two deaths linked to the powerful opioid Carfentanil.

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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