Harford County Man Sentenced in 2020 Shooting

DATE: March 31, 2022
RE: Benjamin Murdy Sentenced

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that Benjamin Murdy, 45, of Street, Maryland, receive a sentence on March 30, 2022, of life suspend all but 48 years to serve at the Division of Corrections and five years of probation upon his release. The sentence follows Murdy’s August 20, 2021, conviction for five individual counts of attempted first degree murder and related charges, as well as animal cruelty.

On January 21, 2020, at approximately 6:52 p.m., Corporal Brian Wyzga, Senior Deputy Jason Flemmens, Deputy Nathan Schnitzlein and Deputy Nicholas Lastner from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of 4509 Oak Ridge Drive, in Street, Maryland for a report that Benjamin Murdy had shot the family dog and was in the house with the gun.

As the deputies moved towards the house, Mr. Murdy started shooting at them. The deputies took cover at various locations in the neighborhood, however, Mr. Murdy continued to fire shots at them for approximately 60 minutes. The deputies did not return fire. During the course of the encounter, Mr. Murdy shot Mr. Robert Schell, a neighbor across the street from the house as a well as a patrol vehicle and truck.

Mr. Murdy then finally surrendered to the deputies. A search of his house resulted in the recovery of an AR-15 and a .40 caliber handgun. Casings and ammunition were also recovered. There were three fired casings in the backyard and 195 fired casings in the driveway. During the search, the deputies also discovered Cora, the family dog, tied to the deck and shot multiple times.

During an interview, Mr. Murdy admitted shooting the dog because it would not stop barking. He further stated that he intended to kill the deputies as they approached the house.

The Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney sentenced Mr. Murdy to life suspend all but 40 years to serve with five years of probation for each of the five counts of attempted first degree murder and made each sentence concurrent to one another. The Court further added an additional 20 years suspending all but five years on a related count for a firearms offense. Mr. Murdy was sentenced to an additional three years to be served consecutively for animal cruelty bringing the total sentence to life suspend all but 48 years to serve at the Division of Corrections.

The State’s Attorney again thanked all responding Harford County Sheriff’s Deputies and emergency personnel for their response and investigation. Mr. Peisinger said, “Our law enforcement partners risk their lives every day to protect our community. Let this serve as a reminder that anyone who puts them in harms way will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.” Mr. Peisinger further thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Charles Fitzpatrick for his advocacy that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Murdy.