Army Sergeant convicted in 2015 domestic violence murder

U.S. Army Soldier Was Murdered Near Fort Meade on August 24, 2015

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal jury today convicted Army Sergeant Maliek Kearney, age 37, of San Antonio, Texas, for 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. 

The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commanding General David P. Glaser of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Tim Altomare.

According to the evidence presented at Kearney’s 11-day trial, Kearney was married to Karlyn Ramirez, an active-duty soldier of the United States Army assigned to Fort Meade, Maryland, and they had a four-month-old daughter together.  Ramirez was found shot to death in her off-post residence on the morning of August 25, 2015.  The baby had been placed in her arms.  Based on the evidence, the likely time of death was estimated to be the late evening hours of August 24, 2015. 

Witnesses testified that at the time of Ramirez’s death, the couple had recently separated and Ramirez had obtained a protective order through the Army prohibiting all contact between her and Kearney. 

Kearney was stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.  The evidence presented at trial showed that on August 24, 2015, Kearney finished work in the early afternoon and traveled from South Carolina to Severn, Maryland.  Witnesses testified that Kearney entered Ramirez’s townhouse using his key and brandished a Taurus .357 caliber revolver.  According to trial testimony, Ramirez attempted to calm her husband but she reiterated that she did not want to see him again.  Kearney then shot Ramirez three times, killing her.  According to the evidence presented, Kearney then took off her pants and pulled down her underwear in an attempt to make it look like a sexual assault.  He also placed their four-month-old daughter in Ramirez’s arms.

Kearney’s girlfriend, Delores Delgado, testified at trial that she provided the firearm that killed Ramirez and allowed Kearney to drive her car from South Carolina to Maryland to commit the murder. The evidence showed that Delgado also purchased large gas cans for Kearney to take with him, so that he would not have to stop for gas and risk being seen.  According to witness testimony, during the murder, Kearney’s girlfriend, who lived in Florida at the time, stayed at Kearney’s apartment in South Carolina with his phone and vehicle so that it would appear that he was in South Carolina at the time of the murder.  After the murder, Delgado and a third party went to a waterway in Florida and disposed of the firearm, shell casings, Kearney’s clothing worn during the murder, and the key he used to enter the townhouse.  Delgado also dismantled the revolver and took steps to obliterate the serial number.  The firearm was subsequently recovered by law enforcement divers and forensic testing determined that it was indeed the gun used by Kearney to shoot Karlyn Ramirez to death.  

Dolores Delgado, age 33, of San Antonio, Texas, previously pled guilty in federal court for interstate travel to commit domestic violence resulting in death, in connection with the death of Karlyn Ramirez.  U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled sentencing for Delgado on September 7, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

Kearney faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Judge Russell scheduled sentencing for Kearney on November 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.  Kearney remains detained.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI Baltimore, Army CID, and Anne Arundel County Police Department for their work in the investigation, and thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas and FBI San Antonio for their assistance.  Mr. Hur also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys James G. Warwick and Kenneth S. Clark, who are prosecuting the case.

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