A former Army sergeant who drove from South Carolina to Maryland to kill his wife was sentenced to life prison in U.S. District Court in Baltimore Friday, the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur announced Friday.
Following an 11-day trail in August, 37-year-old Army Sgt. Maliek Kearney of San Antonio, Texas, was convicted of interstate travel to commit domestic violence resulting in the death of Karlyn Ramirez, and using a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. In addition to his life sentence, Kearney was ordered to pay the family of Ramirez $492,800 in restitution.
According to details revealed at trial, Ramirez was also an active duty member of the military, working as a soldier assigned to Fort Meade. She and Kearney had a four-month-old daughter together. Ramirez was found shot and killed in her off-post residence in August of 2015. Her baby was placed alive in her arms after the murder. Police believe the infant was left like that for about a day. After shooting Ramirez, Kearney staged the scene to look like a possible sexual assault and murder.
Witnesses who testified at trial said the two had been separated at the time of the killing and that Ramirez had sought a protective order through the Army to keep Kearney from contacting her.
At trial, prosecutors showed evidence that Kearney had driven from his station in Fort Jackson, S.C. to where Ramirez lived in Severn. He entered the residence using his key and shot Ramirez after she tried to calm Kearney but said she did not want to reconcile.
Kearney's girlfriend at the time, Delores Delgado, aided in the murder, letting Kearney drive her car and purchasing large gas cans so he would not have to stop to refuel and possibly be spotted. She stayed in his apartment while he traveled, and upon return, tried to help him destroy the murder weapon, which was eventually recovered. Delgado became a key witness in Kearney's trial.
For her part in aiding in the crime, Delgado was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.
Because both Delgado and Kearney were sentenced to federal crimes, they are not eligible for parole since it does not exist in the federal system.
“We are extremely pleased with today's sentencing and sincerely hope in some small way today's outcome helps to give the Ramirez family a bit of closure,” said Christopher Grey, spokesman for Army CID. “Our agents, in concert with our other law enforcement partners, worked tirelessly to solve this case and bring the guilty to justice for this despicable crime. It clearly demonstrates no matter how cunning a criminal may think they are, we will uncover the truth.”