The girlfriend of a man who was found naked with his throat slashed earlier this year was charged with second-degree murder on Thursday, The Cumberland Times-News reported.
Alexander Arthur Stevens, 24, of Frostburg, Maryland, was found dead on Jan. 4 at the Savage River State Forest in Garrett County. The initial cause of death was unclear, but police ruled the case a homicide in March.
After eight months spent investigating, Garrett County State Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch announced on Thursday that Stevens’ girlfriend, 21-year-old Megan Virginia Shaffer, has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assisting another to commit or attempt to commit suicide.
Back in January, Shaffer told authorities that she and Stevens were hiking in the State Forest on the night of Jan. 3 when Stevens fell to his death from a 33-foot cliff. Shaffer claimed that since she believed him to be dead, she left him below the cliff.
Shaffer emerged from the woods the next morning and entered the nearest home to call 911. She was taken to the hospital with a broken shoulder and an injured back.
When Stevens’ body was found on a logging road the next day, officials noticed that along with injuries suffered from the fall, his neck was deeply gashed, appearing to have been slashed multiple times.
The victim’s father, Jay Stevens, said his son had been acting strangely in recent years, questioning his place in society and reading about various religions.
“He’d grown his hair longer, was reading about religions, thinking about his place in society,” Jay Stevens told police.
“I never, never, ever, ever thought that he was suicidal. I know my son. He had all these plans to do things.”
Days before his death, Stevens opened a “transfer on death” account, listing Shaffer as the beneficiary. A judge granted the request of Stevens’ father to stop the transfer of more than $188,000.
Shaffer will be defended by attorney Stephen R. Tully who said that he had not yet seen the charges.
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