On Monday, December 18, 2023 Ashley Pearl Zentz, 36, of Edgewood, appeared in the Circuit Court of Harford County for sentencing following her conviction for First Degree Murder after a six-day jury trial in October of this year. The state requested a sentence of life, suspend all but 72 years to serve and 5 years for the Motor Vehicle Theft count, running consecutively.

Ultimately, the court sentenced Zentz to Life, suspend all but 60 years to serve. Additionally, she was sentenced to 5 years for the Motor Vehicle Theft count in the same case, which will run concurrently with the sentence above. A previous press release indicated these charges followed an incident in February 2022 where 71-year-old Gerald Champ was murdered in his home. His death was later determined to be the result of blunt force trauma to the skull.

Following the sentencing, State’s Attorney Alison M. Healey offered the following comment: “This significant sentence is a huge victory for the safety of Harford County and removes a violent murderer from our community for decades to come. I commend Mr. Champ’s daughter for her courage in delivering such a graceful and sincere victim impact statement during sentencing. It is my sincere hope that this sentence provides some closure to Mr. Champ’s entire
family and affords them some peace in knowing the person responsible for his death was brought to justice.”

Ms. Healey thanks Deputy State’s Attorney Trenna Manners for her continued advocacy for the victim throughout the many stages of this case and for her efforts in securing this significant sentence.