PERRYVILLE — Investigators have arrested a woman who allegedly stabbed a man to death inside his Perryville apartment earlier this month, according to the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office.
CCSO officials identified the suspect as Destiny Marie Guns, 23, of the unit block of Oxford Court in Perryville.
After developing Guns as a suspect, detectives took her into custody at approximately 7 p.m. on Monday during a traffic stop in the area of Jackson Station Road and West Pulaski Highway (Route 40), police said. Guns was a passenger in the vehicle, which detectives had targeted based on information gained during the investigation, police added.
Guns is accused of stabbing Chad Thomas Petroulis, 25, to death inside his apartment in the 300 block of Mansion Drive during the early-morning hours of June 14, according to Lt. Michael Holmes, a CCSO spokesman, who further reported that Petroulis suffered a fatal wound to his upper torso.
CCSO detectives, who conducted two interviews with Guns, the last of which was halted abruptly, believe that Guns stabbed Petroulis during an argument with him, Holmes said. Guns maintained that she was not Petroulis’ girlfriend, but acknowledged that their relationship had an element of intimacy, he added.
Reported observations by a neighboring tenant helped investigators develop Guns as a suspect, according to Holmes.
He also reported that detectives viewed video gleaned from an apartment complex surveillance camera and saw a “female matching Ms. Guns’ description leaving the area” within the time frame of when the argument purportedly had occurred.
In addition, the investigation revealed that Guns “had spoken to (her) family members about the incident,” police reported.
While canvassing the apartment complex, detectives interviewed a neighbor who recalled hearing a “loud commotion,” which he described as “banging and kicking,” coming from Apt. 11, where Petroulis lived, at approximately 12:30 a.m. on June 14, court records show.
The neighbor told investigators that, after hearing a loud knock at his apartment door, he looked through the peephole and saw Petroulis, clad only in black pants, lying on the floor outside the door of Apt. 9, two doors down from his unit, police reported.
“The witness advised that he observed a female who he was unable to identify exit Apt. 11 and walk past (Petroulis) as he was lying on the floor. The female continued to walk past (Petroulis), as he was lying on the floor, and she proceeded to walk down the stairs and presumably exit the apartment complex. The witness explained that (Petroulis) then reentered Apt. 11,” according to charging documents.
That neighbor also told investigators that he is aware that a woman, whom he identified only as “Destiny,” frequented Petroulis’ apartment, court records show.
CCSO Det. Tyler Price, lead investigator, already was aware of woman named “Destiny” who associated with Petroulis, police reported.
“Det. Price is familiar with Destiny from a past investigation involving Chad (Petroulis) and Destiny. Det. Price knows Destiny to be identified as Destiny Marie Guns, a white female born on Nov. 1, 1997,” according to court records.
At approximately 11 p.m. on June 16 — a day after Petroulis’ body was found by a relative inside his apartment and five days before detectives arrested Guns, Price conducted a recorded, non-custodial interview with Guns, after telling Guns that he wanted to “speak with her in detail” about Petroulis’ death, court records show.
Court records indicate that Guns “maintained throughout this interview that she was not present at (Petroulis’) apartment” on the night of June 13 through the early-morning hours of June 14, within the time frame of when the neighbor heard the loud commotion and saw the activity involving Petroulis and the female outside the apartment doors.
On June 17, after making Guns aware of her Miranda rights and gaining her consent, Price conducted another interview with her, police reported.
“Det. Price informed (Guns) that the investigation had established additional information that specifically contradicts the information she provided in her first interview. (Guns) then requested the presence of an attorney and the interview was terminated,” according to charging documents.
Immediately after the halted interview with Guns on June 17, Price conducted a recorded interview with her mother, Kristina Peirson, who told the detective that Guns and Petroulis had been together at his apartment on the night of June 13 through the early-morning hours of June 14, police said.
Guns’ mother also told Tyler that she had learned that Guns and Petroulis “got into an altercation” during that time frame, police added.
“(Peirson) explained that (Guns) informed her that (Petroulis) would not allow her to leave the apartment, so (Guns) ‘poked’ him so that she could leave. (Peirson) stated that poke meant that she used her finger to poke him to allow her to leave,” according to charging documents.
Peirson gave investigators consent to conduct a “forensic download of her phone” and it revealed that Peirson and her brother, Michael Shawn Chandler, “engaged in a series of text messages on June 14,” court records show.
“Included in those messages was a message from (Chandler) to (Peirson) on June 14 at 2:12 p.m., advising that (Guns) stabbed (Petroulis) in the chest. Det. Price believes it is important to note that the text message conversation between (Chandler) and (Peirson) indicating that (Guns) stabbed (Petroulis) occurred on June 14 at 2:12 p.m. . . . (Petroulis’) body was not discovered until June 15 at 2:07 p.m.,” court records allege.
A relative of Petroulis discovered his body inside the apartment, near the front entrance door, at approximately 2 p.m. on June 15, after going there to check on him, and then that family member contacted authorities, police reported.
CCSO detectives were dispatched to that unit, which is one of several inside an apartment building, to conduct a “death investigation,” also known as an “unattended death,” after Perryville Police Department officers made the initial response there, according to police.
“The responding officers determined that the death was suspicious, based on their observations. As the investigation progressed, it was determined that the death was a homicide. It was determined that Mr. Petroulis died as a result of a stab wound to the upper torso,” Holmes outlined on Monday.
In his written statement of probable cause, Price outlines, "Investigators seized a blue colored shirt that was located underneath (Petroulis') body. Investigation into the shirt revealed there to be a small hole on the left chest area of that shirt, indicating that (Petroulis') was wearing the shirt when he was stabbed."
The Perryville Police Department assisted CCSO detectives and the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, where an autopsy was performed on Petroulis, which resulted in that agency ruling his death a homicide, confirming the suspicions of the CCSO investigators, police reported.
During the on-scene investigation, detectives also noticed no signs of forced entry into Petroulis’ apartment, according to Holmes.
Guns is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to Cecil County District Court records, which also indicate that she is scheduled for a July 22 preliminary hearing.
As of Tuesday night, Guns remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond after her bail review hearing earlier that day, court records show.
Stay tuned to cecildaily.com, as more details about this murder case become available.