BALTIMORE -- A Cape St. Claire man was charged Friday in connection to a deadly boating hit-and-run crash that happened over the Fourth of July weekend.
Laura Slattery, a wife, mother of 3 and grandmother,with another boater on the Magothy River.
"Going from a family of five to a family of four has been jarring and painful but talking about her helps as much as it hurts because she's not gone, she's not going anywhere anytime soon from our hearts," said the victim's daughter, Amber Slattery.
About six weeks after the crash, Maryland Natural Resources Police issued an arrest warrant for Brownell Edds Jr., 48, for negligent manslaughter and reckless operation of a vessel.
Slattery and her husband went to watch an annual fireworks display on the water in Anne Arundel County. While on their way back home just after 10 p.m., investigators said Edds Jr. hit the couple's 20-foot Wellcraft and landed on top of their boat.
Charging documents state Slattery's husband pushed the suspect's boat off and back into the river. But instead of staying at the scene, rendering aid or calling 911 for help, Edds Jr. is accused of leaving the scene.
People in two separate boats witnessed the collision, according to police.
After being interviewed, investigators stated one of the boaters assisted the injured Slattery couple while the other attempted to follow the suspect into Deep Creek off of the Magothy River.
Slattery died later that night from her injuries.
"She was just amazing and now she's praising God up in Heaven but we'd rather have her here," said the victim's niece, Arlene Weiss.
The day after the crash, police continued searching for the suspect's boat, which was spotted in Deep Creek docked at a marina. Police noted finding a vertical gouge in the fiberglass.
Surveillance video from the marina obtained by investigators reportedly shows Edds Jr. pulling up to the dock just before 10:30 p.m. A female was also onboard the vessel at the time, police revealed.
The boat was seized for evidence. A vessel reconstruction and comparison between the Slattery's boat and the suspect's showed damage likely caused by the collision, charging documents detail.
After interviewing witnesses who were with or around Edds Jr. on the day of the incident, police said several accused the suspect of drinking alcohol before the crash happened.
"It's the difference of us waking up every day to a waking nightmare and us having a mom for the rest of our lives. Think about if that was your family and do a little better for yourself and everybody else that could be involved," said Amber Slattery.
Court records show this is not Edds Jr.'s first run in with the law. In April 2002, he was arrested for driving under the influence while in a motor vehicle.
Edds Jr. pleaded guilty and was given one year of supervised probation, according to court documents.
During a bail hearing Monday, a judge confirmed the suspect would be held without bond until the trial for the crash that claimed Slattery's life.
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