Abingdon Resident Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of a Minor Following Disclosure by Adult Survivor

DATE: May 28, 2021
RE: Conviction of Steven Gross

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Steven Gross, 49 of Abingdon, Maryland, for sex abuse of a minor.

Gross was convicted on May 10, 2021 by way of a plea. The case began during the summer of 2020 when the victim, who is now an adult, went to the Maryland State Police Barracks to report that she suffered past child sex abuse by Steven Gross. The victim detailed that Mr. Gross started sexually abusing her when she was six years of age and continued for several years. He threatened her on regular basis should she should ever disclose what he was doing. It wasn’t until the victim reached adulthood that she felt safe and disclosed.

The Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney imposed a total sentence of 25 years suspend all but 10 years incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections. The Defendant will be on five (5) years of supervised probation when he is released and will submit to lifetime sex offender registration.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Tabone who prosecuted this matter and commended the Maryland State Police and all partners of Harford County Child Advocacy Center for their hard work and dedication in conducting the investigation that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Gross.

Aberdeen Man Convicted of Robbery

DATE: May 28, 2021
RE: Conviction of Wardell Walton

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Wardell Walton, 34, Aberdeen, Maryland, for robbery.

Walton was convicted on April 26, 2021 by way of a guilty plea. The case began when on October 2, 2020, Aberdeen Police Officers responded to a group home and met with the victim who reported that he opened his door to walk to the communal bathroom where he was confronted by Wardell Walton. Walton then forced the victim back into his apartment, punching and striking him repeatedly in the face. Walton attempted to grab the victim’s wallet from his pants, knocking him to the bed, biting his hand, and ripping his pocket. Walton fled with the victim’s wallet, containing $4,700 in cash.

The Honorable Yolanda L. Curtin imposed a total sentence of 15 years suspend all but 8 years incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections. The Defendant will be on three (3) years of supervised probation when he is released.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Jason Allen who prosecuted this matter and commended the Aberdeen Police Department for their hard work and dedication in conducting the investigation that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Walton.

Delaware Man Sentenced For Bel Air Arsons

HARFORD COUNTY, MD (May 27, 2021) – The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) has concluded two separate arson investigations with the conviction and sentencing of Richard Benjamin Lodeski, 44, of Wilmington, Delaware.

Lodeski was initially charged on June 23, 2020, with: (2) counts of Second Degree Arson, (2) counts of First Degree Malicious Burning, (2) counts of Second Degree Malicious Burning, and (2) counts of Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000. He was later charged with additional counts of Second Degree Arson, First Degree Malicious Burning, and Malicious Destruction of Property over $1,000.

The first arson fire occurred around 11:30 p.m. on June 15, 2020, at a Shell gas station located in the 1900 block of Emmorton Road in Bel Air. Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company firefighters arrived and contained a fire to the store’s roof within minutes.

The second arson fire occurred on June 20, 2020, just before 3:30 a.m., when Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company and surrounding departments responded to 1226 Bel Air Road for a reported building fire. Firefighters arrived and discovered two separate buildings on fire. The buildings, located behind the former Birroteca restaurant, were two structures housing eight different businesses. Firefighters were able to contain the separate blazes within forty minutes.

In collaboration with BATF agents, Deputy State Fire Marshals investigated both and determined the fires were incendiary (arson) in nature. It is estimated that the fires caused over 1 million dollars in damages to all three businesses.

During the investigation, Lodeski was connected to other crimes, including arson in Baltimore County and burglary in Ocean City. Investigators are working with Delaware law enforcement in connecting him to other arsons in the Dewey Beach area.

On May 26, 2021, Lodeski admitted his guilt in Harford County Circuit Court before the Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney. In exchange for his guilty plea, Judge Mahoney sentenced him to 60 years, suspending all but 10 years to the three counts of arson-second degree. Deputy State’s Attorney Gavin Patashnick prosecuted the case.

“Arson is a callous and senseless crime that endangers the lives of innocent residents and our firefighters who bravely respond to protect life and property,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. “I commend my Deputy State Fire Marshals and our federal partners in fire investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and their outstanding efforts to investigate these incidents and apprehend the suspect.”

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Murderer Radee Prince Sentenced in 2017 Mass Shooting

Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that Radee Prince, 40, from Elkton, Maryland, received three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole along with two consecutive life sentences for murdering three people and attempting to murder two others in a 2017 workplace shooting. Mr. Prince was further sentenced to 20 years for use of a handgun during the commission of a crime of violence and 15 years for being a felon in possession of a handgun concurrent to the last life sentence. All of these sentences are consecutive to the 40 years Mr. Prince is serving for a related crime in Delaware.

On the morning of October 18, 2017, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to an active shooter situation at a granite company in Edgewood, Maryland. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the bodies 53 year-old Bayarsaikhan Tudev, 34 year-old Jose Hildago Romero and 48 year-old Enis Mrvoljak who had all succumbed to gunshot wounds to their heads. Deputies also located two other victims, Enoc Sosa and Jose Roberto Flores Gillen, who had similarly suffered gunshot wounds to their heads, but survived. All of the victims were employees of the granite company.

The resulting investigation, which included multiple eyewitnesses and video surveillance, clearly revealed that a co-employee, defendant Radee Prince, executed Mr. Tudev, Mr. Romero and Mr. Mrvoljak and severely wounded Mr. Sosa and Mr. Gillen with a semi-automatic handgun. Mr. Prince then left the scene immediately after the shooting, entering a black SUV and driving away. He was eventually captured in Wilmington, Delaware following a subsequent shooting.

“I am very pleased with this outcome,” said Mr. Peisinger. “This man deserved nothing less than the maximum penalty afforded by law for these vicious crimes.” Mr. Peisinger further stated: “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of comfort to them. As this prosecution and today’s sentence shows, we will not waver in our commitment to eradicating brutal and senseless instances of violence such as this to ensure the safety of our communities.”

Mr. Peisinger further thanked the jurors who deliberated the case, the Honorable Yolanda Curtin and all of the Harford County Circuit Court judges, staff and personnel for diligently and patiently conducting the proceedings in a challenging environment due to the ongoing pandemic. He also praised the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Aberdeen Police Department, the Bel Air Police Department, the Maryland State Police, the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as all other first responders for their joint efforts in rendering aid at the scene and for the extensive investigation that led to this outcome. Additionally, he commended Assistant State’s Attorneys Angela Diehl, Timothy Doory and Cyndi Adkins for their incredible advocacy that resulted in this sentence.

Department of Justice Announces Child Pornography Charges Against Bel Air Resident

Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, Homeland Security Investigations, the Maryland State Police and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office in announcing the filing of a federal complaint against Donald Hildebrandt of Bel Air, Maryland for charges of possession and production of child pornography.

The full press release from the Department of Justice may be viewed here:

https://www.justice.gov/usaomd/pr/baltimore-police-swat-officer-facing-federal-charges-possession-and-production-child

In announcing his support for the charges, which were developed following an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), the Harford County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), and federal law enforcement partners, Mr. Peisinger stated: “I am thankful for the collaboration and cooperation amongst our partners that resulted in these charges.” Mr. Peisinger further added, “Today’s federal complaint serves as a reminder that crimes against our most vulnerable of victims will result in the strongest of responses.”

Edgewood Woman Pleads Guilty in Stabbing

Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, announced today the conviction of Kyla
Royster, 24, Edgewood, Maryland, for first degree assault.

On June 7, 2020, deputies of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Deerwood Court,
Edgewood, Maryland. Upon arrival, deputies found a woman bleeding from slash wounds to her neck and face
and a stab wound to her abdomen. Before being transported to Shock Trauma, the woman identified her
assailant as “K.” Deputies met with her again at the hospital, where she was able to identify a photograph of
Kyla Royster as the woman who assaulted her. Deputies obtained a warrant and arrested Kyla Royster when
she was found the following day.

On February 5, 2020, Kyla Royster admitted her guilt at a hearing before the Honorable M. Elizabeth
Bowen. In exchange for her guilty plea, Judge Bowen sentenced her to twenty-five years, suspend all but ten
years to serve, to be followed by five years of probation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney
Jason I. Allen.

Mr. Peisinger thanked the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, emergency response personnel, and the
University of Maryland Medical System for their outstanding work and dedication in conducting the
investigation that resulted in the conviction of Ms. Royster.

Baltimore Man Sentenced to Almost 14 Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of a Fentanyl Analogue That Resulted in The Death of a Victim

December 22, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact MARCIA MURPHY
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4854

BALTIMORE MAN SENTENCED TO ALMOST 14 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR DISTRIBUTION OF A FENTANYL ANALOGUE THAT RESULTED IN THE DEATH OF A VICTIM

Defendant Sold Customers Heroin, Crack Cocaine, and the Fentanyl Analogue that Killed the Victim in this Case

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander today sentenced Shannon Dorrell Marshall, a/k/a Cake, age 43, of Baltimore, Maryland, to 165 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for two counts of distribution of controlled substances, specifically a fentanyl analogue and heroin. A victim died as a result of Marshall’s drug distribution. Fentanyl analogues are chemical compounds designed to have effects similar to fentanyl and can be just as deadly.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief Henry Trabert of the Aberdeen Police Department; Chief Charles Moore of the Bel Air Police Department; Chief Teresa Walter of the Havre de Grace Police Department; and Harford County State’s Attorney Albert Peisinger.
According to Marshall’s guilty plea, on May 11, 2017, Harford County Sheriff’s Office detectives went to a home in Abingdon, Maryland, where a victim had been reported dead. An autopsy determined that the victim died of 4-Fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl and carfentanil intoxication. Detectives seized the victim’s phone and recovered messages from the victim arranging to purchase drugs from an individual known as “Cake,” which is Marshall’s alias, and learned that Marshall was the source of the drugs sold to the victim. Further review of the phone revealed that the victim had been purchasing gel caps of heroin from “Cake” since October 2016.
As detailed in the plea agreement, on June 15, 2017, detectives conducted surveillance of Marshall and observed him engage in a hand-to-hand drug transaction. When detectives exited their vehicles to approach Marshall, he fled. Detectives were able to stop the person who had just purchased drugs from Marshall. The drugs were determined to be three gel caps of heroin and crack cocaine. On June 21, 2017, Harford County Task Force detectives executed a search warrant at Marshall’s residence and seized a bag containing 2.8 grams of cocaine. Marshall was arrested and agreed to waive his rights and speak to detectives, subsequently admitting to selling drugs to the overdose victim, as well as to the individual detectives stopped on June 15, 2017.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the DEA, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the other members of Harford County Narcotics Task Force, comprised of members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Aberdeen Police Department, Bel Air Police Department, Havre de Grace Police Department, and the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Romano and Kim Y. Oldham, who prosecuted the case.
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Havre de Grace Man Sentenced in Murder of 15 Year Old Child

DATE: November 17, 2020
RE: Sentencing of Naeshawn Perry

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, announced today the sentencing of Naeshawn Perry, 19, of Havre de Grace, Maryland for murder in the first degree.

On August 9, 2017, the victim, 15 year old Maleigha Solonka, was reported missing. One week later, on August 16, 2017, Maleigha’s body was found in a trash can that was located in a wooded area behind a church on Webb Lane in Havre de Grace, Maryland. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be asphyxiation. Detectives of the Havre de Grace Police Department conducted an extensive investigation including interviewing Mr. Perry and executing multiple search and seizure warrants. Mr. Perry was charged with murdering Maleigha Solonka after a DNA analysis was conducted on multiple items that were recovered during the investigation.

Mr. Perry pled guilty in the Circuit Court for Harford County before the Honorable Paul W. Ishak on March 10, 2020. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Dair Pillai.

The sentencing hearing occurred on November 17, 2020 before the Honorable Paul W. Ishak. Numerous friends and family of the victim, Maleigha Solonka, attended the hearing and the Court heard several statements describing Ms. Solonka’s life and the impact this murder had on them and on the community. The Court sentenced Mr. Perry to a life sentence suspend all but 20 years, to be served at the Division of Corrections.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County sends its deepest condolences to the victim’s family for the unimaginable, tragic loss they have suffered.

Elkton Man Found Guilty For Mass Shooting in Edgewood That Left Three Dead and Two Wounded

DATE: November 2, 2020
RE: Multiple Homicide convictions

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced that a Harford County jury found Radee Prince, 40, from Elkton, Maryland, guilty of three counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of attempted murder in the first degree and related firearm offenses and today also found Mr. Prince was criminally responsible. This case was a bifurcated proceeding in which a jury was tasked first with determining guilt or innocence and then whether the defendant was not criminally responsible byreason of insanity. A sentencing date has not been scheduled. Mr. Prince faces a maximum penalty of five life sentences plus 25 years. The State’s Attorney’s Office filed notifications seeking life without the possibility of parole for each of the victims.

On the morning of October 18, 2017, deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office responded to an active shooter situation at a granite company in Edgewood, Maryland. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the bodies 53 year-old ayarsaikhan Tudev, 34 year-old Jose Hildago Romero and 48 year-old Enis Mrvoljak who had all succumbed to gunshot wounds to their heads. Deputies also located two other victims, Enoc Sosa and Jose Roberto Flores Gillen, who had similarly suffered gunshot wounds to their heads, but survived. All of the victims were employees of the granite company.

The resulting investigation, which included multiple eyewitnesses and video surveillance, clearly revealed that a co-employee, defendant Radee Prince, executed Mr. Tudey, Mr. Romero and Mr. Mrvoljak and severely wounded Mr. Sosa and Mr. Gillen with a semi-automatic handgun. Mr. Prince then left the scene immediately after the shooting, entering a black SUV and driving away. He was eventually captured in Wilmington, Delaware following a subsequent shooting.

“These acts of senseless violence have scarred this community forever,” said Mr. Peisinger, “My heart goes out to the victims and their families and I hope this verdict will be the first step in closing this tragic chapter.”

Mr. Peisinger further thanked the jurors who deliberated the case. He also praised the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Aberdeen Police Department, the Bel Air Police Department, the Maryland State Police, the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as all other first responders for their joint efforts in rendering aid at the scene and for the extensive investigation that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Prince. Additionally, he commended Assistant State’s Attorneys Angela Diehl, Timothy Doory and Cyndi Adkins for their incredible advocacy that resulted in this verdict. Mr. Peisinger furthermore thanked the Honorable Yolanda Curtin and all of the Harford County Circuit Court judges, staff and personnel for diligently and patiently conducting the trial in a challenging environment due to the ongoing pandemic.

Bel Air Resident Convicted of Edgewood Murder Sentenced to 20 Years

Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, announced today the sentencing of Jaylin Brown, 18, Bel Air, Maryland, for Murder in the Second Degree, First Degree Assault, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony or Crime of Violence, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Under the Age of 21.

On August 3, 2018, deputies of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Edgewood High School, 2415 Willoughby Beach Road, Edgewood, Maryland.  Upon arrival, deputies discovered a vehicle in a ditch in front of the high school.  Inside the vehicle deputies found victim, 19 year old Thailek Willis, who suffered from a gunshot wound to his left back.  Despite immediate life-saving efforts, Mr. Willis died from his injuries the same day.  After thorough investigation by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Jaylin Brown was charged with the murder of Thailek Willis, and the handgun used by Mr. Brown was recovered by the Sheriff’s Office.

At the conclusion of a six (6) day trial in the Circuit Court for Harford County before the Honorable Angela M. Eaves, a jury returned a verdict of guilty of Murder in the Second Degree, First Degree Assault, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony or Crime of Violence, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Under the Age of 21 on December 12, 2019.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys Mark Meehan and Matthew George.

Today, the Honorable Angela M. Eaves imposed a total sentence of 65 years of incarceration suspend all but 20 years of incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections.  The defendant will be on five (5) years of supervised probation upon release.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County sends its deepest condolences to the victim’s family for the tragic loss that they have suffered.

The Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County would also like to thank the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, emergency response personnel, the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for their outstanding work and dedication in conducting the investigation that resulted in the conviction of Mr. Brown.