Exclusive: Md. woman likely killed by shotgun she asked courts to take from her husband

WASHINGTON — It is likely a mother of three was killed by the very weapon she asked the courts to take from her husband one day earlier, Charles County investigators said.

Candace Carnathan, 33, was shot to death by her husband, Calvin, 33, the morning of Saturday, Jan. 27, after filing a protective order against him the day before. He then turned the gun on himself. Capt. Stephen Salvas, of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, told WTOP the murder weapon was a shotgun.

In her protective order, Carnathan wrote in two different places that her husband had access to a shotgun. She also marked she wanted the judge to order him to turn it over. In the petition, Carnathan wrote, “He slapped my face on January 1st, took away my keys and my cell phone so I couldn’t go to work. Has a tracker on my cell phone and possibly car.”

Calvin Carnathan, an IRS employee, had no prior convictions in Maryland.

In temporary and interim protective order hearings, a judge can order weapons confiscated if the case meets certain criteria. In Carnathan’s temporary hearing, held in La Plata, Maryland, the day before she was killed, a District Court judge did not order the shotgun removed.

“During a temporary protective order hearing, it is within the discretion of the judge, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, to order the surrender of firearms to law enforcement,” said Thomas Wenz, public information officer for the Maryland Judiciary.

Had they attended the final protective order hearing set for Friday; his weapons would have been confiscated, Salvas said.

The couple’s three children, who were home at the time of the shooting, are 11, 10 and 7 years old, according to court documents. A family member has filed for guardianship of the children.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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