Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter for Killing a Climber in National Park in Maryland
Greenbelt, Maryland - David DiPaolo, age 33, of Bristow, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to voluntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a person in Carderock, a popular rock climbing area within the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Chief of Police Robert MacLean of the U.S. Park Police.
According to DiPaolo’s plea agreement, on December 28, 2013, DiPaolo had an argument with the victim in the parking area at Carderock Recreation Area (Carderock), located in Bethesda, Maryland, within the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Immediately following this altercation, the victim went to the base of the rock climbing area and DiPaolo returned to his parked vehicle. Shortly thereafter, DiPaolo found the victim and used a claw hammer to hit the victim multiple times on his head. DiPaolo then fled first from Carderock and subsequently drove to New York State, where he remained until his arrest on January 8, 2014.
Following DiPaolo’s attack, other rock climbers in the area discovered the victim at the base of the rock face. The victim was suffering from massive head trauma, but was still alive. Emergency personnel were called, and the victim was airlifted to a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, where he later died of his injuries.
DiPaolo and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement DiPaolo will be sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for May 9, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Park Police for its work in the investigation and thanked the New York State Police, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. Sullivan, who is prosecuting the case.