TANEYTOWN MAN FOUND GUILTY OF TWO COUNTS OF FIRST-DEGREE ASSAULT, TWO FIREARMS COUNTS AND TWO COUNTS OF RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT OF MINOR CHILDREN IN CONNECTION WITH SHOOTINGNEAR NORTHWEST MIDDLE SCHOOL IN FEBRUARY.
After a full day of deliberation on August 17th, a jury found Michael Joiner guilty of six of nine counts after a three-day trial that began on Monday, August 14th.
A Carroll County jury found that on February 10, 2023, Michael Joiner of Taneytown was not acting in self-defense or in the defense of another when he confronted Ted and Lester Rill who had arrived at Joiner’s property to retrieve a piece of construction equipment, specifically a tamper, that had previously been stolen from the Rill Construction Company. Video evidence showed two men carrying a piece of heavy equipment into Joiner’s garage on the same night that the tamper was stolen, but it was not until February 10th that Joiner contacted the Rill family and offered to give it back in exchange for $1,000. Earlier on the day of the shooting, the Rills had met with Joiner on his property, at which time Ted and Lester Rill agreed on behalf of the owner of Rill Construction to pay Joiner $500 for the tamper and to pick it up later in the day. Video evidence showed that when Ted and Lester Rill returned to pick up the tamper, Joiner and his “fiancé” rapidly approached the Rills with guns drawn, and then advanced towards Ted Rill as he backed up and indicated he was not on their property. Joiner got within feet of Ted Rill and pointed a .45 caliber handgun at his head while Joiner’s fiancé put a .380 pistol up to Ted Rill’s head. A struggle then ensued, during which Ted Rill was shot twice and Joiner once. Both men were taken to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center for treatment.
Judge Fred Hecker who presided over the trial ordered a pre-sentence investigation and sentencing was set for November 8, 2023. Joiner remains in the Carroll County Detention Center, held without bond, pending sentencing.
The Office of the State’s Attorney for Carroll County was represented by Deputy State’s Attorney Sandra L. Johnson and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Alicia Kuhns. The lead investigator in the case was Maryland State Police (MSP) Corporal Theodore Buck. The MSP were aided by members of the Taneytown Police as well as members of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. The Middle Atlantic-Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network provided video enhancement services to assist the prosecution of the case.
“It’s a miracle no one was killed as a result of this incident,” remarked Carroll County State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker, “and it’s very troubling that this shooting happed right where students from the nearby middle school can be seen walking by in the video of incident.” Shoemaker added, “Wild West shootouts, especially around our schools, will not be tolerated in Carroll County.”