Adam's Ribs Newspaper Accounts
Wednesday, March 12, 1980
Husband Charged with Murder Woman Dies in Shooting
by Ellen Gauthler
A 56-year old restaurateur has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his 43-year old wife at the Rustic Farm Restaurant on March 6.
Nancy Guienot Schwab was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting by Dr. George Weems, Calvert county medical examiner. Mrs. Schwab had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
Minutes after the shooting police arrested her husband, Rustic Farm owner Douglas Willie Schwab and charged him with murder.
Despite opposition by the state, District Court Judge Larry Lamson set bond at $250,000 and Schwab was released approximately 16 hours after the shooting.
"I opposed bond for two reasons," Steven Claggett, assistant state's attorney, said Monday. "I wanted to ascertain more about the facts of the case and the financial position of the accused. Bond is very relevant in cases like this."
According to the information released Monday by Deputy W. S. Freeland, of the County Sheriff's department, Deputy Donald Hall arrived at the Rustic Farm shortly after the shooting. Hall was met, police say by a witness who alleged that Schwab shot his wife while the couple were in the bedroom of their living quarters located behind the restaurant.
The witness reportedly told Hall that Schwab had just left the parking lot in a white Buick heading north on Route 2/4. Schwab was arrested minutes later by Tpr. Garret Linger of the Maryland State Police and Deputy Edward Smith.
Deputy Hall found Mrs. Schwab's body on the floor next to the bed.
Police say that while there were no actual witnesses to the shooting, there were employees and customers in the restaurant when the shooting occurred at approximately 6:45 p.m. Mrs. Schwab's daughter and her mother were also in the establishment at the time of the shooting.
Sources close to the investigation say that the
Schwab's had a history of marital conflict. On March 5, the day before the fatal
shooting, a Maryland State Police officer was called to the restaurant to
investigate a domestic complaint.
At that time, sources said Mrs. Schwab refused to press charges.
Wednesday, March 26, 1980
Grand Jury Indicts Schwab for Murder
By Ellen Gauthier
A Calvert county grand jury indicted 56-year old Douglas Willie Schwab March 18 on one count each of murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime.
The Prince Frederick restaurant owner was arrested March 6 in connection with the shooting death of his 43-year old wife Nancy Guienot Schwab.
The shooting occurred in a bedroom of the couple's living quarters located behind the Rustic Farm Restaurant in Prince Frederick.
According to sources close to the investigation the Schwabs had a history of marital conflict. On March 5, the day before the fatal shooting, a Maryland State Police officer was called to the restaurant to investigate a domestic complaint.
The next day at approximately 6:45 p.m. police again responded to the restaurant. County Sheriff's Department Deputy Donald Hall arrived at the Rustic Farm shortly after the shooting. Hall was met, police say by a witness who alleged that Schwab shot his wife and then left the restaurant., got into his car and headed north on Route 2/4. He was arrested minutes later by Tpr. Garrett Linger of the Maryland State Police and Deputy Edward Smith.
Deputy Hall, found Mrs. Schwab's body on the floor of the bedroom. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting by Dr. George Weems, Calvert county medical examiner. Mrs. Schwab had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
At the time of arrest police confiscated a Smith and Wesson revolver from Schwab's pants pocket. The handgun is suspected to be the murder weapon.
(additional information about other non-related indictment cases removed)
Wednesday, October 8, 1980
Schwab Murder Trial Enters Second Day
By Debbie Goldstein and Ellen Gauthier
Testimony in the murder trial of Douglas Willie Schwab went into its second day Tuesday and as we go to press at 3 p.m. Schwab has been on the stand for two hours.
The 56-year old restaurateur has been charged with the alleged shooting death of his wife, Nancy Guienot Schwab, on March 5. The shooting took place in the bedroom of the couple's living quarters located behind the Rustic Farms Restaurant in Prince Frederick.
Testimony presented by the Calvert County State's Attorney's office indicated that the Schwabs had a history of marital discord which culminated on the night in question with the shooting.
The state's case was handled by Assistant State's Attorney Steve Clagget, who called approximately 18 witnesses including customers who were in the restaurant when the shooting occurred, the mother and daughters of the dead woman, restaurant employees, and police witnesses.
Nancy Guienot's mother, Ruth, testified that she was in the restaurant when the shooting occurred. She said Schwab came home from work at approximately 4:30 p.m. that day. She said that he was prone to drink a lot and had gone into the bar with some friends. Soon after that, she said her daughter and Schwab had an argument in the back which she could not hear but think is it was about a car.
Mrs. Guienot testified that the last time she saw her daughter alive was at about 4 p.m. that day.
After the shooting which occurred at approximately 6:45 p.m. that evening, Mrs. Guienot testified, "Mr. Schwab came to the front of the restaurant where I was with my granddaughter. He grabbed her and shook her and said 'I've shot your mother,' - then he grabbed one of my arms and one of hers and said to me, 'I've shot your daughter.'
"I ran to the back of the restaurant into the bedroom," Mrs. Guienot said. "I saw her lying back on the bed in a pool of blood with a pencil in her hand. I put a wet cloth on her head and came out screaming. I knew she was dead."
Mrs. Guienot testified that the couple fought frequently. "He put a gun by the bed at night along with brass knuckles on the night table," she said.
Mrs. Guienot became upset during her testimony saying, "He shot her. How could that be love? I thought he respected her. I fell for it. I thought he loved her".
Wendy Morrison, Mrs. Schwab's 17-year old daughter, testified that her mother and stepfather fought about the restaurant business, marital life and the animals they had. There were times, she said, when they fought everyday.
On the night of March 5, the night before her mother was killed, she said she spent the night with her mother on the sofa bed "because I was afraid he was going to do something."
In later testimony, Maryland State Police Officer Dave Cameron said that he was called to the Schwab residence on March 5 for domestic quarrel. The officer testified that at the time Schwab appeared to be quite intoxicated. "He did have the weapon mentioned," Cameron said. "She (Mrs. Schwab) asked me if I would take it from him but I had no legal basis to take it."
The trooper said he tried to get her to go somewhere else to spend the night but she said she had no where to go. After being there for approximately 40 minutes, Cameron said he left. At that time the couple, he testified, had stopped arguing.
Wendy Morrison was the first person to call the police. She said after he told her he had shot her mother, she went to the phone and dialed 911. "I told them Mr. Schwab just shot my mother, please send an ambulance quick."
It was than that the teenager said she ran back to the bedroom. "I leaned over her and tried to get her to breathe."
Wendy said she went back out to the bar. "I said, you murderer, you killed my mother," she testified.
It was then, Wendy said, that he went to the phone and called police.
Troby Harms, a cook in the restaurant for the past three years, testified that she had seen Mr. Schwab with a gun in his pocket in the past. The couple's relationship, she told Clagett was "not good".
Harms also said that he had heard Schwab threaten that he was going to "blow her brains out".
Nancy Susan Morrrison, the dead woman's 19-year old daughter, told the jury that her mother and Schwab did not get along well. She said she had heard Schwab threaten to kill her mother especially when he had been drinking.
Nancy Morrison recalled one incident in the early hours of the morning when she was awakened by her dog, which was barking. "I peeked around and I saw Doug. He had a gun in his hand. He pointed it at a picture on the wall and shot through the picture. He said, 'The next time it will be you.'.
"Who was he speaking to," Clagett asked.
"He said that to my mother," she said.
On Monday, the jury heard the testimony of two customers who were at the bar the night of the shooting. Both John F. Powel and John A. Rushing testified that they had been at the bar that evening and had seen Schwab go into the back room where the living quarters were. He had returned a short time later, they said to retrieve a gun located near the cash register.
"I jokingly told him that there was no need for that….that we planned to pay our bill and he said, 'There's trouble in the back,'" Powell said.
Schwab disappeared into the back and returned a few minutes later saying he had shot his wife, Powell said.
Wednesday, October 15, 1980
Schwab Convicted of Murder 2
By Debbie Goldstein and Ellen Gauthier
Douglas Willie Schwab, 57-year old county restaurateur, was convicted of second degree murder in Charles County Circuit Court following a trial that began last Monday. The jury returned a verdict after deliberating one and one-half hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. Schwab could get as much as 20 years for the conviction. A pre-sentencing investigation has been ordered.
Schwab was charged with the shooting death of his wife, Nancy Guienot Schwab, on March 6 following a domestic quarrel at the couple's residence located in rooms behind the rustic Farms Restaurant which is own by Schwab.
The case was removed from Calvert County because of extensive pre-trial publicity and was heard by Judge Robert C. Nalley.
Schwab's attorney, Thomas Rymer, entered a plea of not guilty in Schwab's behalf, claiming that the gun which killed Nancy Schwab had gone off accidentally. Co-Council for the defense was Charles County attorney Robert T. Barbour.
The majority of the state's case against Schwab was presented in testimony Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. Assistant State's Attorney Steve Clagett, called approximately 18 witnesses including Mrs. Schwab's mother and daughters, restaurant employees and investigating police officers.
According to testimony presented by prosecution witnesses, the Schwabs had a history of marital discord.
Douglas Schwab took the stand in his own defense Tuesday afternoon and for three hours painted a different picture of the couple's life together.
During sometimes emotional testimony Schwab said, "I can tell you we were happy more times than we were sad."
He testified that he had never threatened his wife with a gun, directly contradicting testimony earlier by the dead woman's daughter and by a Maryland state police officer.
He said that after the couple was married, and some property changed hands because Nancy Schwab allegedly told her husband she needed some security for her children, the marital situation changed. Schwab terrified that she told him, "I've got what I want now and furthermore I'm going to take everything you've got".
"I told her you'll never enjoy it," he said, and then added, "I meant you never enjoy something you don't work for."
Although the restaurant has never been robbed, Schwab testified that he used to keep large sums of money around and that for that reason he had kept a gun in the restaurant. He told that at one time he had three .38 caliber guns in the Rustic Farm.
According to testimony, the argument on the night of the shooting was a continuation of one the couple had the previous evening. On March 5 Nancy Schwab and Doug Schwab both called for police assistance.
Schwab said the argument was about spaghetti that someone had put in the radiator of her car. He said that she accused him of doing it and had threatened on March 5 to do something to his car.
"On the morning of March the 6, I went to work and saw a friend there. I told him my wife is in a rage, would you be kind enough to take my car home. If you come over I'll buy you a couple of beers," he said.
"She didn't do anything in front of them to amount to anything," but later Schwab testified she called first her attorney and then she said she was going to call the police and have his friends arrested for stealing the car which was in her name also.
Schwab said he pleaded with her to please talk to him but she said she was just going to call the police. "I said to myself," he testified, "the only way to get her attention was to go and take the gun out. So I walked down the corridor and I was waving the gun like this," he said while standing in the witness box waving the gun in the air."
He said he asked her again to please talk to him but she said she was waiting for the police to come to the phone. Schwab said he asked her again to please talk to him.
"She was sitting on the bed, I lunged forward trying to put my hand on the cradle of the receiver," he demonstrated for the court. "As I did the gun (in his right hand held against his chest) went off. I saw some blood on her head and I don't know where else," he said.
Schwab said the gun was not cocked and that he didn't pull the trigger. "I can't remember whether she hit my hand or not. I don't know how it went off but I never lie," Schwab said.
"I went out and asked two men at the bar to call the police. I told them we are closing up., I just shot my wife," he said.
At this point in his testimony Schwab broke down and was having difficulty breathing and talking because of an operation 10 years ago for throat cancer. Because of this he had to learn to talk all over again through the use of a voice box.
On cross examination, Clagett asked if he had any intention of pulling the trigger. "My God, no," Schwab said.
He also said that he never drank hard liquor until he met Nancy Schwab. "Every time I would turn around she was bringing me a drink," he said. He added that at one time he was drinking up to a fifth of Scotch every day.
"I get excited but I've never done anything like that," Schwab said. "I'd never hurt anybody. In a fight I'd keep you away till you gave up," he said.
"I was just thinking I've got to get her attention I don't get mad, I just get disgusted," he said.
Calvert Independent Wednesday, December 10, 1980 Schwab Gets 20 Year Sentence By Ellen Mitchell
Douglas Willie Schwab, a local restaurant owner, was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison on a second degree murder conviction in the fatal shooting of his wife, Nancy, last March.
The 57-year old owner of the Rustic Farms Restaurant was sentenced by Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Nalley to 15 years, one-half of the maximum 30 year penalty, for the murder conviction and five years for the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. The sentences are to run consecutively.
Friday morning Schwab was released from Calvert Memorial Hospital, where he had been undergoing tests, to attend the sentencing. Immediately following the sentencing he was returned to the hospital where tests were to be completed before he is scheduled to report to the diagnostic center of the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore.
According to his attorney, Thomas A. Rymer, Schwab has breathing problems associated with a throat operation for cancer 10 years ago. The problem requires that he use a humidifier at all times. In addition he was undergoing tests for a back injury.
Schwab was convicted by a Charles County jury following a two-day trial on Oct. 6 and 7. The case was removed from Calvert County to neighboring Charles County because of extensive pre-trial publicity.
According to testimony presented at the trial the shooting occurred following a domestic quarrel at the couple's residence located in living quarters behind the Rustic Farms Restaurant on Route 2/4 in Prince Frederick.
Rymer entered a plea of not guilty in Schwab's behalf claiming that the gun which killed Nancy Guienot Schwab had gone off accidentally. Co-council for the defense was Charles County Attorney Robert T. Barbour.
Rymer said Friday that he was "disappointed" at the severity of the sentence. "We thought there might have been some consideration given because of his (Schwab's) health problems," he said.
Rymer also said that it is possible that he will ask for an appeal of the case. "First we have to look at the record and see if there were any errors made during the trial," he said.
Rymer has 90 days to file a motion for reconsideration of the sentence and 30 days to file a motion to have the sentence reviewed by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court. This panel, if convened, he said is empowered to either reduce or increase the sentence.
Rymer, who said he was hoping for a manslaughter conviction during the trial, said "I went through all the reasons why a person shouldn't be put in jail. But I think that the judge felt he had to do this as a deterrent to others. There is probably no rehabilitation necessary and there is no reason to incarcerate him to protect the community.
"I argued that in these cases of emotion, whether he went in and accidentally pulled the trigger or decided to pull the trigger…in these kinds of cases you seldom have people repeat them," Rymer said.
Rymer said that he did ask Judge Nalley, following the trial if an appeal was filed would Nalley give him bond to stay out pending that appeal and was told no.