HOWARD COUNTY — A Columbia man has been sentenced to life in prison after breaking into a woman's apartment and killing her with a baseball bat in 2019.
24-year-old Wilson Orellana-Lemus pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court to life in prison for the first-degree murder of Amanda Nicole Harris.
On Sunday, May 5, 2019, Howard County Police responded to an apartment in the 8800 block of Spiral Cut in Columbia after family members asked for a welfare check on Harris and her boyfriend, William James Webb.
When police arrived at the home, they found Harris’s body in the living room.
Police located a piece of Marlboro Gold cigarette packaging near Harris’s body. They did not locate the matching cigarette pack at the home.
Police learned that no one in that household smoked Marlboro Gold cigarettes.
Officers then forced entry into the master bedroom where they found Webb. His injuries were the result of blunt force trauma.
A baseball bat was found from the bedroom and is believed to be the weapon used on both victims.
Webb was transported to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. He survived the assault.
During their investigation, police recovered Webb’s cell phone at a nearby dumpster. Phone records led police to Orellana-Lemus.
Police executed a search warrant at Lemus’s home and found the remainder of the Marlboro Gold cigarette box, which matched the top of the box left at the crime scene.
Police believe Orellana-Lemus entered the apartment through an unsecured window and assaulted both victims with a baseball bat before stealing Harris’s jewelry and Webb’s cell phone.
“As horrific as this crime was, what was even more disturbing is that it was a random attack on two innocent people,” said State’s Attorney Rich Gibson. “ While I know this life sentence will not bring Amanda Harris back, I do hope it provides some peace of mind to her family that this type of heinous behavior will not be tolerated in Howard County and that the defendant, Wilson Orellana-Lemus, will spend the foreseeable future behind bars for his reprehensible actions.”