Army Sgt. convicted in murder of Fort Meade soldier wife, driving from S.C. to Md. to commit crime

BALTIMORE - An Army Sergeant was convicted of killing his wife in a domestic dispute near Fort Meade, Md., the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland said Thursday.

Sgt. Maliek Kearney, 37, of San Antonio, Texas, was found guilty of interstate travel to commit domestic violence resulting in the death of Karlyn Ramirez, and for using, carrying, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

Kearney was an active duty solider and married to Ramirez, with whom he had a 4-month-old daughter, at the time of the murder. Ramirez was a soldier stationed at Fort Meade. She was found shot to death in the couple's shared residence the morning of Aug. 25, 2015. Investigators determined she had been killed the evening prior.

Witnesses said at trial that the couple was separated, and Ramirez had obtained a protective order through the Army prohibiting contact with Kearney at the time of her death. Kearney had been stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C. at the time of the murder.

Kearney finished work early the afternoon of Aug. 24, 2015, and traveled from South Carolina to Ramirez's residence in Severn, Md., according to evidence presented at trial. Witnesses said Kearney entered the townhouse with his key and brandished a .357 revolver. Ramirez attempted to calm Kearney, but said she did not want to be with him. He then shot her three times, killing her. Kearney tried to stage the scene to look like a sexual assault, pulling down her underwear and pants, and leaving their 4 month old in her arms.

Delores Delgado, Kearney's girlfriend at the time of the murder, played a hand in trying to cover up the crime, according to evidence presented at trial. She provided the gun Kearney used to kill Ramirez and let him drive her car from South Carolina to Maryland, buying large gas cans Kearney took so he wouldn't have to stop for fuel, where he could possibly be spotted.

Delgado lived in Florida, but she stayed at Kearney's South Carolina apartment with his phone and car so it appeared he was there at the time of the killing. When Kearney returned, Delgado and another person took the revolver and destroyed the serial number, throwing the gun, shell casings and what Kearney wore at the time of the murder into a waterway in Florida. 

The gun was later recovered by law enforcement and forensic testing showed it was the weapon used to kill Ramirez. 

Delgado pleaded guilty to interstate travel to commit domestic violence resulting in death for her role in the murder. She will be sentenced Sept. 7. 

Kearney will be sentenced Nov. 16. He faces a maximum of life in prison. He remains detained awaiting sentencing. 

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