MARTINSBURG – A Westminster, Maryland, man who is among three people charged with murdering a 33-year-old Taneytown, Maryland, man near Rippon over a drug dispute in March was charged last week in Berkeley County for allegedly killing a woman who witnessed the Rippon slaying.

David Ray Sanford Jr., 26, who is incarcerated while awaiting a Jefferson County grand jury to review charges filed against him for the drug-related killing of Jonathan Riddle, has been charged with smothering 18-year-old Danielle Tyler of Taneytown.

He was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Monday on a single murder charge in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

In a triple murder case based on unnamed cooperating witnesses, police believe Sanford suffocated Tyler inside a former outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouse in Falling Waters because she knew too much about the Rippon murder, according to court charging documents and testimony in previous court hearings.

Police also charged a 37-year-old woman, April Lynn Braner, with allegedly assisting in Tyler’s killing. Braner owns the Falling Waters property where the clubhouse is located, according to an investigator’s court testimony.

Two other men, 22-year-old Jeffrey Craig Smith Jr. of Westminster and 49-year-old Norman Arthur Bradford Jr. of Falling Waters, are facing murder charges in Berkeley County for the killing of a second witness, 33-year-old Heather Grogg of Westminster, to the Rippon murder.

Police believe that both Tyler and Grogg were lured to the clubhouse to be murdered.

Police believe Grogg was shot in the head on April 7 after she was taken for a car ride away from the clubhouse. Tyler was smothered in the clubhouse after she was given a drink laced with drugs to make her fall asleep, police contend.

A criminal complaint filed with Sanford’s murder charge in Berkeley County states that police determined that Tyler’s body was burned in a large fire pit outside the clubhouse trailer.

Police say Riddle’s initial killing, which spawned the murder of the two women, occurred over a dispute over $40 worth of missing methamphetamine.


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