The Cecil County man recently arrested in connection with a string of local convenience store robberies was found unresponsive in his cell at the Harford County Detention Center on Thanksgiving night and died a short time later, police said.
Michael R. Malpass, 26, of Charlestown was arrested Nov. 17 for the robbery of several stores across three counties. He had been held without bond at the detention center since Nov. 18 on charges of armed robbery, first- and second-degree assault, and failure to appear.
His death is not being investigated as a suicide, according to Harford County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Monica Worrell.
While on routine rounds of the detention center at approximately 10:55 p.m. Thursday, corrections officers found Malpass unresponsive in his cell, according to Worrell. The corrections officers began life-saving procedures and Malpass was transported by the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:08 a.m. Friday, Worrell said.
Malpass had been housed in one of the facility’s direct supervision units, Worrell said, and was locked down in a cell by himself on a 15-minute watch due to medical issues related to detox from intravenous use of heroin.
Malpass was arrested for the armed robbery of the Maryland House Travel Plaza Exxon station on Nov. 9; the Nov. 11 robbery of the Shell gas station on Middleton Road in Aberdeen; the Nov. 13 robbery of the Royal Farms store on Route 40 in Perryville; the Nov. 14 robbery of a 7-11 store on Belair Road in Overlea, and the Nov. 15 robbery of Rite-Aid Pharmacy in Havre de Grace.
The death comes amid a change in leadership at the detention center, with Sheriff Jesse Bane announcing Nov. 16 that Warden Elwood DeHaven would retire effective Dec. 2, and would not be replaced. Maj. Michael Capasso is set to take over the warden’s duties.
Malpass is at least the fourth inmate to die while incarcerated at the detention center in the last four years. Forest Hill resident Jeffrey Lawson, committed suicide in August 2010 while awaiting trial for the robbery of a Forest Hill bank. Lawson was found hanging by a bed sheet in his cell, and died several days later after his family decided to end life support measures.
In June 2009, a detention center inmate died after being TASERed by a corrections officer. The death of an inmate in September 2008 was ruled accidental by authorities.
David A. Porter says
If you look the suspect up an MD Case Search you will find that he was previously arrested and tried for burglary. He was then directed to seek mental health counsel at his own expense as well as abstaining from drug or alcohol consumption. Later you will see he was a defendant in a contract judgment for Maryland Treatment Center. I guess I should be thankful that when I requested an emergency evaluation for a girl that displays serious asocial tendencies as well as self destructive behavior, that the Judge decided she was not a physical threat to herself or anyone. I mean after all, if this is the best the state can offer someone who needs mental evaluation, they’d be better off left preying on the rest of us.
Good Riddance. Glad my tax dollars wont be wasted on him.
mary m says
For the person who commented good riddance you should educate yourself on addiction. He was using a bb gun to do this and was desperate for money to get his fix because withdrawal from herion is awful. I am his mother and know this. Anyone who knew him would tell you this isn’t the Michael they knew that the drugs were killing him. I will pray for you to have compassion and that you never have to go through the things that we have. He shouldn’t have been left to go cold turkey on his severe addiction, which is a disease. He told me Wed. that he was dying, passing out, etc. and apparently passed out and vomited. Waiting on final autopsy report to know for sure. I will pray for you and hope that before you write something hurtful you will thing how it could make others feel. This is US and you have freedom of speech and I would never want that taken . Your comment just added to our hurt.
I don’t care that he was only using a BB gun and was in withdraw. The behavior is not acceptable. Sorry he is dead but I am not going to have a pity party for him.
Pissed with the Government says
The use of any gun, BB, real, toy, airsoft, or otherwise in the commission of a crime is the use of lethal force, and allows one to defend ones self against such an assault with lethal force.
Good riddance to this leech on society I am glad my tax dollars won’t be wasted on his prison stay.
There are 6 year olds in Hopkins dying of cancer, that is a disease! Recreational drug addiction is not!
From what I have read, this boy was more than a recreational user. People make mistakes. What if you made the mistake to try something once and then got hooked on it? Would you want society to throw you out?
A mistake is adding the tip worng when eating out. He made a choice!
I always get a good laugh out of the holier than thous’….
Sure…keep telling yourself that, whatever helps you get through the day.
So, what was his condition in the 15 minutes prior to him being found unresponsive? The article states that he was on a 15 minute watch. Perhaps several of those 15 minute watch log entries prior to the 10:55 discovery say “sleeping”, and if so, this man could have been unresponsive for some time.
Lon Staghorn says
people make choices, they seek the path they want to travel on…some of us do the right thing…choosing that path…others don’t choose the right path,…and the ‘politically correct’ make up excuses.
he was a good person who just got messed up in life. ive known him half my life though we hadnt been in contact for quite some time. for all u whove got nothing but hurtful things to say, keep em to urself, hes got a good family who doesnt need anymore on top of what they are already dealing with. to miss mary if you see this, I am so sorry for everything that happened. I had heard he was doing bad and thought that maybe he would get some help out of this. I know more could have been done his problem was severe, no matter what he did he should have been in a hospital not a cell. I hope you can make it through this I know he was everything to you. id like to know about any services you may have, sooo sorry. a. cothin
mary m says
Thanks Andy. Those who knew Michael knew he had a good heart. We only had the immediate family see him prior to cremation.
Bruce O'H. says
My condolences to Miss Mary. The son that she knew and loved became the rogue that we in the community only became aware of due to his criminal spree. Hence the understandably negative comments about him.
The road that her son chose has one of three endings, always. Either a person is able to quit, they end up in an institution, of one kind or another, or they die.
It’s a sad story.
I wonder what percent of inmates are in the detention center..because of an addition problem?
If you include all of those folks that are incarcerated for crimes associated with the commission of crimes to get money to support an addiction, along with the possession of drugs, then the percentage would approach 45 to 50 percent. Add in those incarcerated for the sale/distribution of drugs, and include crimes committed in the fight for territory to make such sales, and you approach approximately 85% of the entire population of the DC.
The insanity of drug addiction. My condolences to his family for your loss.
Otto Schmidlap says
I guess it’s like the Kennedys and alcohol. Practically all of Teddy Boy’s horrible misadventures were fueled by alcohol. That, plus a lack of character, was not a winning mixture.
Billy Jack says
Unlike you, Otto, who have done so much with your life.
Funny how every junkie and armed robber is always “a super nice person” who is “misunderstood” Perhaps if you were a better mother he would not have been a thieving junkie. Heroin use is a choice. I doubt if someone forced him to use it. He payed the consequences for his actions.
Lon Staghorn says
agree…folks are fed up!
Mike…you sir are a troll! I would never argue in defense of what this BOY did.
HOWEVER, to insinuate that it was the mother’s fault is something only a wasted soul would dare bring up.
You said yourself that Heroin use is a choice, most of us know it’s the wrong choice. Sometimes people do things they regret, and I’m sure that’s what happened with this kid. IE: he never intended to be a thieving junkie, but the drug overpowered him.
People like you make me sick, almost as sick as thieving junkies. I guarantee you have some things in your closet, that if you were asked to stop, you could not. Internet pornography comes to mind. Addiction IS a hard thing to beat.
Get a life loser.
Pissed with the Government says
I am glad that this waste of oxygen is gone off this planet. I am also glad that we as taxpayers no longer have to pay to punish him. The store owners that were victimized by him, should sue the estate and parents for there business loses, as well as the state for tax money lost in the criminal justice system.
The shame of it is now they will try and hang somebody there or the County will pay out a ton of OUR money to his mother.
Nicely said Mattyice.. Ignorance is not bliss-it’s the voice of an idiot. RIP Mr. Malpass. I pray you have found peace. And to Mr. Malpass’ mother, I’m truly sorry for your loss and pray you also find peace one day. Your son’s addiction was not a result of anything you did!….Addiction is an evil beast who can take ANYONES loved one..NO ONE is immune!
Wayne Norman says
MY empathy is with the clerks and cashiers, probably making minimum wage and thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. They show up for work, trying to make a living and probably just getting by and then to have a gun shoved in your face and a robbery announced. No matter what type of gun it was it probably looked like a cannon when you are looking down a barrel. I can’t imagine the fear they felt and seeing their whole life flash by. I bet that trauma will stay with them forever.
Lon Staghorn says
agree Wayno…folks use the ‘toy guns’ that look real to commit crimes that often lead to violence and trauma…then, when a law officer responds with ‘live fire power’ they are portrayed in the news as ‘over reacting’…bullshit…anyone in their right mind who stares at a ‘weapon’ real or otherwise in the commission of a crime, has the unalienable right to take whatever action they want, without any fear of retribution…why?…because the perpetrator of the act, initiated the crime…not the law officer, not the victim…wake the hell up America…bad people are out there, they rob, steal, kill and maim…and the victims didn’t ask for the trauma they will live with the rest of their lives.
Bobby Weaver says
Condolences to Mr. Malpass’ family. Also, please don’t forget the other people, the clerks who were robbed; some of which may need some counseling.
One good thing that our government has given us is this comprehensive web site for finding appropriate treatment. Once you key in initial criteria, go to the “Change Service Selections” tab and key in your detailed criteria such as: short term, long term, method of payment, etc, etc. – http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/TreatmentLocator/faces/quickSearch.jspx
Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus says
One can not diminish the brazenness, selfishness, stupidity, the seriousness, or magnitude of the young man’s crime. Nor, can one minimize the feeble minded and horrid effects of heroin addiction. Still, that is no excuse for his crimes.
However, there could be more sensitivity for those family members left grieving by lessening the level of viciousness, and callousness in the remarks regarding the man’s demise.
I agree,as an alleged criminal he needed to be, was apprehended and incarcerated to prevent further mayhem.
However, 4 deaths in 4 years does seem rather high for initial detention. The facilities preliminary procedures, regarding medical evaluation, surveillance, monitoring, and emergency actions should be reviewed and examined to determine their effectiveness.
As for the vitriolic cries about the impact on ones’ taxes, that is a penny wise pound foolish dog whistle for another agenda. The ignorance, lack of couth, and that incivility is as much a blight on society as is drug addiction.
Bobby Weaver says
Eloquent and right on point!
wsh I could havce said it this well….exactly what I was thinking.
I agree, four deaths in four years does seem very high.
It is disturbing that the article states this man was on a 15 minute watch for medical reasons, yet he was not housed in a medical cell, but rather in a direct supervision area. Also the article states that the man was found during “routine rounds”. How does this come into play with the 15 minute watch? The article does not provide any information (perhaps it was not provided by the HCSO) regarding what condition the man was in for each of the 15 minute segments prior to his being found unresponsive. For all we know, this man may have been dead for some time prior to 1055PM!!
Has a cause of death been determined, and if it has, will the public be told the cause of death?
Come one retiredawhile, don’t ask hard questions of the sheriff. Just think of unicorns and lollipops…everything is just great! Just don’t look too close!
OnPoint, seems to me that several questions (hard or otherwise) need to be answered here.
I agree and it is more than a couple. Appointing and then retaining a criminal on his command staff (who was also a political contributor), retribution transfers throughout the office following the election, questionable promotions (obviously nothing but political), and now all these deaths. Questions abound!
The problem with a 15 minute watch is that the medical staff uses the power to put some one on that WAY to frequently. Subsequently the officers tend not to put much priority behind them. Routine tours in that unit are done at a minimum of once per hour. There are only a few medical cells and they are treated as isolation cells more than medical cells.
I hope the officer was on point that night with checking every 15min. If not he/she will probably be hung out to dry by the administration. Offered up as an easy scape goat for a flawed system of rules and practices.
Thank you for being candid about the 15 minuet watch.