The man accused of murdering a 19-year-old Frederick man and leaving his body in a car on an abandoned property has been criminally indicted.

A Frederick County grand jury released a number of indictments Friday, including that of 19-year-old Thurmont area resident Joshua David Eckenrode. He’s accused of killing a former high school classmate, Curtis Mason Smith, whose body was found in a vehicle March 21 in the 8100 block of Runnymeade Drive.

Police suspect Eckenrode may have been planning a mass casualty event. They allegedly found nine firearms, two improvised explosive devices, bomb-making materials and a written “plan of action” after searching his apartment in the 6700 block of Mountaindale Road as well as a Bethel Road address associated with him in Frederick. Police allege Eckenrode killed Smith at the Bethel Road residence and drove the body in Smith’s car to Runnymeade Drive, according to charging documents.

Smith’s family reported him missing March 19. People chasing a loose dog happened upon the vehicle with Smith’s body inside it two days later, police wrote in charging documents. He suffered a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

Eckenrode’s initial appearance is scheduled for May 14, online court records showed Sunday. He’s charged with first-degree murder and using a firearm in a violent crime. He also faces charges for possessing firearms and explosives. He’s being held without bond.

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@MaryGraceKeller.

(61) comments

Awteam2021

The Second Amendment is no obstacle to effective serious gun control. The issue is not about the U.S. Constitution, but about whether there is the political will to take the actions necessary to decrease gun violence. That includes inner city shootings!

C.D.Reid

Well, Aw. It seems you've no answer for the questions I asked you at 7:56 this morning. So, is it safe to say that you either didn't read them, or you've no answer for them.....again?

Greg F

7:56...you started your stalking early.

C.D.Reid

My "stalking," Groggy? How's that? Aw has previously asked me my opinion on gun control and I told him. So yesterday morning at 7:56 I asked him here what his solution would be and have still received no answer, in spite of the fact that he's posted comments to this story since then. Which tells me he has no solution, and is afraid to admit it. And that's "stalking" to you? Seriously?

Awteam2021

I wish self-proclaimed righteous constitutional scholars and gun rights advocates would stop hiding behind the Second Amendment as a lame excuse for being limp, on gun control . That’s getting real old. Saying, “We can’t do nothin’ the 2 amendment won’t allow use”... that’s bull.

The second amendment clearly states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Nowhere does it discuss different weapons you might want to use for hunting animals, deers, rabbits or critters. Nowhere does it say you can’t regulate. Nowhere does is say weapons that didn’t exist then (they couldn’t contemplate ) but in the future are exempt from restrictions.

It clearly states “well regulated” - that means laws - rules, regulations, and governance like registering firearms , licensing, training and prohibitions for those who are found incompetent or in violation of laws.

It does say you can establish rules to regulate and enforce governance.

The word “infringe” means not in violation of established law. “Shall not be infringed”, means “not with exception to law”. If you have rules that establish what’s a “well regulated Militia”, there’s no violation of one’s second amendment rights if it is consistent in its application “to all” citizens.

The second amendment allows for common sense regulations and governance.

You can’t have a tank, a bazooka, a rocket launcher as an “Arm”. Right? That’s prohibited.

gabrielshorn2013

Aw, I suggest you get yourself a copy of Heller and McDonald, both of which refute your statements. Also read Marbury v. Madison for S&G. At least know what you are talking about. Happy reading.

Awteam2021

Come on man, seriously 😳? You what to do me like that? Not happening 🧐. I’ll tell you what the rulings mean, Gabeshorn.

The Heller decision was over whether the term “militia“ extend to “individual rights”. Authored by Justice Scalia, it was decided in a narrow decision by the court, 5 -4 . The supreme court for the first time ruled that the Second Amendment's "right to bear arms" protects an individual right, rather than one related to organized state militia as had been the legal understanding for decades. But like most rights and contracts you need to read the small print, there are caveats. Scalia wrote the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited, Scalia goes on to outline certain exceptions. Scalia said, history demonstrates “the right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." Where the early 19th century Marbury ruling was over does Congress have the power to pass laws if inconsistent with the constitution. They could pass laws if deemed consistent by the court. It more about who had final word, the Supreme Court or Congress.

gabrielshorn2013

Aw, yes Justice Scalia's opinion stated that the 2A guaranteed an individuals right to keep and bear arms, based on the common usage of then day. "Regulated" had a different meaning in 1796, and it did not mean what you think it does. Having government control over firearms is the antithesis of the 2A. Furthermore, "the militia" was the sum of all able-bodied males capable of bearing arms in defense of the country. It was not a specific organization. The law does not change because the word usage changed over time. The words mean what they meant at the time they were written. You are correct, the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, hence the exclusion of explosive devices, and automatic weapons. However it did state weapons that are in common use, such as rifles and pistols, are covered under the 2A. McDonald further clarified that meaning. All laws written by congress still undergo judicial review, and Congress cannot implement a law that does not meet Constitutional muster.

jth7100

Just send thoughts and prayers and wait for the next one. Won't be long.

KellyAlzan

I don’t Eckenrode’s lawyer(s) allowing the state to use any of the allegations of “planning a mass causality event” against him in the murder case. They’re only going to allow the state focus on the murder and the murder alone

KellyAlzan

When Trumpkins first campaigned for

Sheriff he promised to “go after the gangs”. 23 years later and the countie is still waiting for him to fulfill that promise.

bosco

Yawn....got anything new to offer?

C.D.Reid

I guess she doesn't........[yawn] zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........................

gabrielshorn2013

What does going after the gangs mean plumbum? If you don't know, or won't say, how do you know he isn't?

Greg F

Trump meant the brown people he thinks are one big gang.

micky

Bethel Road and Mountaindale is not Thurmont, just a Thurmont post office. Both went to TJHS. Give Thurmont a break!!

C.D.Reid

That is EXACTLY why I contacted the writer of the original article after it was published and told her that his address was in Mountaindale, not Thurmont. And that's why the clarification in the follow up articles. All it takes is one incident within the Thurmont postal code, whether it's in the town or not, and the clueless transplants come out of the woodwork with their clueless comments.

shiftless88

this is what people do when they want to ignore and distract from the main point of the story: a home-grown terrorist

gabrielshorn2013

That is why it was strange that seven brought it up shiftless. It was a red herring and irrelevant.

shiftless88

gabe; seven brought it up in a different context that was correct; this is HERE. It is not from the borders. It is not only the MoCo people moving here. This is homegrown. Whether it is Thurmont proper or Mountain Springs makes zero difference. Yet the right-wingers jump on the minutia to obscure the main point.

C.D.Reid

No shift. After the first article, I wrote to the FNP and asked them to clarify that this guy was not a Thurmont resident, specifically because of people like you. Understand now?

Greg F

Thurmont ...yeah...don’t want to mistake that hole.

C.D.Reid

What do you mean by that, Greg F?

francesca_easa

What's going on in this country?? Definitely time to get serious about gun control. This sicko better never see the light of day again.

mikec

Agree. Too many shootings.

Also, what's going on at the FNP? Tragic story with the Brunswick teen being murdered and crickets in terms of updates. I understand that while the investigation is going on, the police are going to be tight-lipped, but I would expect a little more reporting from FNP.

KellyAlzan

The police are working to get an arrest and seal the deal. The objective is to arrest the correct person and convict them. Please be patient.

MD1756

I still say MD should not have done away with the death penalty. Here we have another good candidate for its use.

Awteam2021

I don’t see how going Old Testament, “an eye for an eye”, is prophylactic in reducing gun deaths.

A 19 year older with 9 firearms and explosive devices, contemplating mass murder isn’t going to be discouraged by the treat of being execution. He clearly doesn’t have an appreciation that death takes away everything. One’s life and you can’t get it back.

Maybe a better solution might be serious gun control; less access and greater control over firearms might be a better solution. Maybe greater efforts to remove firearms throughout our society (especially those that clearly shouldn’t have them). Maybe less cultural focus on weapons as empowerment, defining ones masculinity and as an alternative to address social frustrations through deadly weaponry. Just sayin’ 🤷‍♂️

MD1756

My position has nothing to do with the Old Testament. Any similarities are merely coincidence. Are you against killing people in wars? Should we have not struck back against the 9/11 terrorists? The possibility of life in prison is no more (and probably less) a deterrent than the death penalty. With roughly 7.8 billion people on this planet, the world will not miss a few mass murderers, etc. who prey on victim and/or innocent people.

Not all murders or even mass killing are committed by someone using guns, so gun control will not end it. I'm not against certain forms of gun control, but when some people are against minimum mandatory sentences when someone uses a gun during the commission of a crime what will other additional laws prevent? They will only stop fools or people who were serious about their threats. How ever, to enact meaningful gun control, the Second Amendment needs to be amended itself. Everywhere else in the constitution when the term "people" is used, it means individuals, not government organizations. The right to keep and bear arms was given to the "people."

Gun control is not a better solution, it is and additional tool to try to reduces these episodes, but when these episodes happen strong punishment is needed. One thing is certain, anytime the death penalty has been carried out, that person has not committed more murders. However, before the death penalty is handed down, the evidence must be irrefutable. Even if it is only a small percentage of cases, there have currently been too many times when it has been levied and the defendant was innocent.

Awteam2021

We don’t execute war prisoners. It’s been proven to not help and inhumane.

MD1756

Aweteam, why is you response limited to prisoners?. We kill the "enemy" who may be under orders from their government. We do execute deserters, so we are willing to kill our own people who may not want to kill or who mentally can't take it. We also have capital punishment for espionage (or spying) during a war, so we may execute the enemy under certain circumstances. We also kill civilians (intentionally or not). If you are for military actions and killing under those conditions, (I won't even bring in those who support abortion, but don't support the death penalty), then how is it logical to be against the death penalty where guilt is not in question?

Awteam2021

MD1756, the last time America executed a deserter was 76 years ago, in 1945 He was the only GI in WWII to be executed. It was considered so horrible, so inhumane, and such a morale hit, the military hasn’t done it since. The last time America executed spies was in 1953, a two for one deal husband and wife team. I think we’ve evolved since then.

You can take some comfort in knowing executions of civilians were making a come back in the last few months of Trump’s administration. But my point wasn’t about who you might want to execute, but a more extensive approach to reducing the senseless gun shootings that plague our nation. Killing belligerents in war or executing American soldiers for desertion is much different from executing a confused child, a neighbor, only 19 from the Thurmont area or anywhere.

I understand your points but it might be more appropriately address in a different thread.

MD1756

Awweteam, if someone truly has mental issues that may be a different story. If you argue that someone doesn't under 21 (in this case 19 and 20 years old) doesn't understand the consequence of their actions, then it seems like you're making a good case for taking away their voting rights, ability to enter into contracts, potential military service, etc. until they are capable at what age? 21?

Awteam2021

The police found NINE firearms, two improvised explosive devices, bomb-making materials. Eckenrode may have been planning a mass casualty event.

Two kids - Smith and Eckenrode, 19 or 20 of age. Is Thurmont now “the hood”? This isn’t the first child in Thurmont who planned a mass murder. A couple years ago at Catoctin High there was thankfully an aborted plan for mass murder.

Guys, It’s not coming, but here.

The hero dead, the villain going to jail for life. They were classmates, hanging out together, the families knew each other. Is that what you want for your kids? “The well regulated militia” is killing us and your kids. Please guys, it’s time to buckle down. Get serious about gun control or if you are too limp, get out of the way. Guys these are your kids, your neighbors kids, your friends, my kids. Let common sense prevent an another unnecessary death. Don’t let Curtis Mason Smith death be in vain.

Nicki

[thumbup] awteam!

sevenstones1000

Thurmont as been notorious since before I moved here more than three decades ago. First thing I was told is the Grand Wizard lived in Thurmont.

gabrielshorn2013

"...the Grand Wizard lived in Thurmont.",/i>

Lived in Thurmont seven. Past tense. Every city and town has past residents that they are not too proud of, even yours.

Dwasserba

And didn’t he reform? I thought he did.

gabrielshorn2013

Yes,Deb, it was reported that he did reform. Unfortunately, some folks don't believe reformation and redemption, and will hold it against the person or town forever. Also, CD is correct. He lived in Rocky Ridge, not Thurmont. Thurmont was the nearest "big town" for news reporting purposes back then. I also remember that several news agencies reported it as Frederick MD.

C.D.Reid

Seven, Roger Kelly was (that's WAS, as in past tense,) the figure known for Klan activities in the county, and he lives (lived?) in Rocky Ridge, not Thurmont. He had rallies not only in Thurmont, but in Frederick and Braddock Heights also, 40-45 years ago. He also hung up his robe for good in 1989 after meeting Daryl Davis and getting to know him. Do yourself a favor and look it up, it's easy enough to do. If Thurmont still has a Klan reputation, it's only because it's perpetuated by uninformed (and narrow minded?) people like you.

C.D.Reid

Ok Aw, my turn: I take it you're talking about white kids so what additional gun control measures do you suggest, and do you think whatever you do suggest will eliminate shootings, or just get them to an acceptable level? And how do you think you ideas will stop the genocide being committed by blacks on other blacks in all the major, Democrat led inner cities?

bosco

CD sez...."And how do you think you ideas will stop the genocide being committed by blacks on other blacks in all the major, Democrat led inner cities?".....are those the same cities that want to defund the police? Are those sanctuary cities? I wonder if the BLM founder has purchased any houses in those cities with the millions she siphoned off the organizations funds? How many houses has she purchased so far?

https://nypost.com/2021/04/10/inside-blm-co-founder-patrisse-khan-cullors-real-estate-buying-binge/

This is the story that Facebook won't let users repost or forward.

C.D.Reid

Facebook is a biased liberal left platform that favors biased liberal left views and garbage. I had an account for a few years, ditched it, and don't miss it in the least.

shiftless88

bosco; probably because the story is a lie, or at least falsely implies that she gets money from BLM.

bosco

Fact check it, shiftless and see.

But, do you really want a social media platform deciding what media stories you can forward to your friends? If you are comfortable with that, you'll fit right in with the socialists and communists in places like Russia, China, Venezuela, or Cuba. They are all a workers paradise.

C.D.Reid

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] bosco.

mikec

I'll leave politics out of it, but a start would be real punishments for those caught with illegal firearms. Won't stop all the killing, but real penalties would help.

gabrielshorn2013

mikec, here is a bill that was proposed and passed the MD. Senate. The House of Delegates refused to take up the bill. Why? Typical MD politics. What could anyone possibly object to in this bill???

https://trackbill.com/bill/maryland-senate-bill-852-crimes-penalties-and-procedures-violent-firearms-offender-act-of-2021/2021638/

phydeaux994

gab, when and if the shooter is apprehended and goes to Prison the person or people they killed are already dead. Like this latest kid, they took his shotgun away but he just went to a gun shop and bought two assault weapons. I would like to see these guys get stopped before they kill 8 or 10 or 57 people. Any other position on this issue is irresponsible and downright crazy. We will never be able to stop these incidences but we sure could reduce the numbers slaughtered by a lot within the confines of the 2nd.

gabrielshorn2013

I would like the same phy. However, the number of people using firearms for nefarious purposes is an extremely small minority of gun owners. I am all for registering in order to exercise my 2A right, the same as I must register to vote. Both constitutionally protected rights. However, I will not pay a registration fee for exercising either of those constitutionally protected rights. As you are already aware, the majority of firearm assaults and murders are individual (1:1) and not multiples. Multiples make the news, but singles usually don't. As you alls know, the majority of firearm assaults and murders are caused by repeat offenders, just ask the police in any large city where the majority of such occurrences take place. The Baltimore police commissioner has stated such, many times, as has Gov. Hogan. The law I mentioned puts significant penalties on illegal firearm use, and takes away the ability to negotiate the penalties down, thus keeping such repeat offenders in jail where they cannot injure or kill anyone on the outside. Why is that a bad thing? Furthermore, I have repeatedly told you about the current laws that are not being enforrced. They cannot work if they are not applied. Why do 23 states opt out of the Federal background system (NICS)??? Don't you think that applying the current laws fully before declaring them a failure is a good thing?

gabrielshorn2013

Phy, read this story. He fell through the holes in Indiana's red flag laws, and never had the hearing that he was mandated to have.

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/public/ap/prosecutor-fedex-shooter-didnt-have-red-flag-hearing/article_0e5c2fa9-31d5-5400-8358-a136bacc2e2d.html

shiftless88

CD; Shootings will never be eliminated, but we can whittle them down some with some relatively straightforward and Constitutional laws. 100% registration. 100% background checks. 100% tracking of all change of ownership. The guy in Indiana bought two guns AFTER the police had take his other one away. That points to some major gaps in our laws. The problem, of course, is that gun nuts have flooded the market so it is too easy and cheap for anyone to get one.

C.D.Reid

Shift, see gabes's comment of 11:541 this morning. He feels the same way that I do, and puts it far better than I, also.

gabrielshorn2013

Get serious about gun control..."

What do you propose, Aw, keeping in mind the 2A, our Constitution, and our legal system? What would have prevented this specific incidence?

FyremanEd

I’m sure the “hero” was more involved than you think, I’m guessing cold feet.

C.D.Reid

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you're right, Ed. [thumbup]

Dwasserba

Out of respect for micky’s POV - if you enter the street address into Google Earth it does immediately insert “Thurmont” - but when you zoom, the middle class wide open spaces aren’t the common idea of a “hood.” And Thurmont is considered further north. Sometimes a mind goes astray. It’s a scarier thought than “getting serious” about gun control. We need to understand why so many still resist serious gun control. It seems whacko.

gabrielshorn2013

I am one of those that resist more gun laws Deb, because the ones currently in place are not being enforced. We have a national background check system (NICS) run by the FBI, yet 23 states, including California, and in part Maryland, refuse to comply with. And folks want even more background checks? They must be unaware of what is currently available. Sen. Hough tried to get a bill that would be tough on those that violate firearm laws in Maryland. It passed the Senate, but the House of delegates refused to take it up. Why? Maryland politics as usual. Our legal system in Maryland is screwed up too. The cops arrest violators, the prosecutors undercharge to maintain their high conviction rates, and the judges under sentence perps with multiple firearm felonies to walk, putting them out on the street to violate (or kill someone) again! Some folks want to limit the number of firearms one can own. To them I ask, "do you play golf with only a driver?". Not all firearms are equal. You cannot go deer hunting with a 22, and you cannot go varmint hunting with a 300 Win Mag. You certainly cannot do either with a 9mm pistol. A standard hunting rifle is not good for home protection either. Each firearm has a certain function that they are ideal for. Any national law that is proposed must meet Constitutional scrutiny upon its bill passing, thanks to Marbury v. Madison. Any state law will eventually end up at the SCOTUS if there is but one single person to challenge it. Look at DC v. Heller as an example. This caused many states who had similar laws on the books to withdraw them. It is only a matter of time before the state laws are challenged at the Supreme Court. Next issue is registration. With now over 400 million firearms in the US, it ain't gonna happen. NY tried to force people to register their AR-15's as "assault weapons", but they achieved a 4% compliance rate, in blue New York. How well would you think such a "law" will fare in other states? Also with registration, any proposal the involves a fee to register the owner or their firearms is dead in the water. This is analogous to charging a poll tax to vote, which the SCOTUS already deemed unconstitutional. If folks want to repeal the 2A, Article V of the Constitution says what must be done. A bill must pass the House and Senate with a 2/3 majority, and then 75% (38) of the states must ratify the law. Given the current circumstances, that ain't happening either. We could also chose the nuclear option, and hold a Constitutional Convention where everything is on the table, including remaining as one country. That is a poor option.

shiftless88

Gun owners are like the dude on death row who ate and ate and ate and then claimed that hanging would be cruel and unusual punishment because he was so fat. They have created the problem and now claim that their earlier efforts at increasing the problem have been successful such that the problem is not too big to be solved. No problem cannot be solved.

gabrielshorn2013

@ shiftless88 Apr 19, 2021 6:41pm

That is a false equivalency shiftless. ”the dude that ate…” had already committed a crime and was in jail, awaiting his well-deserved fate. Law abiding gun owners have committed no crime, and possess legally manufactured, sold, and purchased firearms. In short, they have done nothing wrong. Go after those that misuse firearms with the full force of the law, and do not negotiate them down. Use the Federal system, incarcerating convicts far from their home base. Make the Federal NICS background check system mandatory and not optional, as several states (including California and Maryland) do. Make reporting data to the NICS system mandatory, and not optional as many states do. If they want to run their own separate system, fine. But the current state systems are not interlinked, so they cannot catch an out of state restriction. Start there.

MD1756

First, I question hero status (maybe he was maybe he wasn't). Why was the one person under 21 going to sell a firearm to another under 21?

Second, what are parents teaching or not teaching their children these days where it seems “disaffected youths” are turning to mass destruction (of lives, property, etc)? Do these parents not know what their children are doing or how they feel? Are parents not spending enough time with their children (especially the “disaffected youths”)?

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