NewsLocal News


"Cold & calculated murder": Frederick man gets life in jail for killing 17-year-old girlfriend

Richard Cartnail III is sentenced for the murder of Ty'Kerria Dawson
Posted at 4:00 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 16:00:48-05

FREDERICK, Md. — An 18-year-old Frederick man has been sentenced to life in jail for killing his 17-year-old girlfriend, Ty'Kerria Katherine Dawson, in 2020.

Richard Eugene Cartnail III was found guilty in 2021 of plotting to kill the victim, shooting her three times in the head on a walking trail near a creekbed. Her body was found there by a passerby, according to a press release.

Cartnail, who was 16 when he committed the murder, was charged along with a 14-year-old girl. Both were originally charged as adults; the 14-year-old's case has since been moved to juvenile court. Investigators said that, on the day of the murder, the 14-year-old girl was waiting in the wooded area with a bag containing a handgun and a change of clothes.

In June 2020, Cartnail and the victim walked from her home to the wooded area, where the 14-year-old girl was waiting. Cartnail took the gun out of the bag and shot the victim in the head.

Cartnail was sentenced Wednesday morning to life plus 20 years in prison. He got two concurrent life sentences for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith said in a statement that acted senselessly and has an utter lack of remorse. He deserves this sentence. This was a cold and calculated murder, and the manipulation of individuals around him was also egregious. This sentence sends a message that those who commit horrific acts of violence will be removed from the public for a long, long time.”

Ty'Kerria Dawson, who lived in Hagerstown, had been in a relationship, said investigators.

The Community Foundation of Washington County announced a memorial fund for Ty'Kerria, who was known as "Tootie." The foundation noted she had just recently graduated Antietam Academy, and she "enjoyed time with family and friends, was a familiar face within her community, and loved to dance."