- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
When federal prosecutors presented their case leading to the conviction of a former air-traffic controller at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in the 2009 death of his wife, the lawyers indicated that someone else also had taken part in the crime.
This week, they announced that a man living in Lemoore, Calif., near Fresno, was in custody, and online court records state that Dellando Recardo Campbell appeared on Tuesday before a federal magistrate on the charge of interstate domestic violence resulting in death.
The prosecutors’ office alleged this week that Campbell, 31, conspired with Ryan Holness, 33, to kill Serika Dunkley Holness. Ryan Holness was sentenced to life in prison after jurors convicted him in a trial three years ago of intending to kill his spouse and committing a crime of violence against her during interstate travel. The woman’s stabbed body was found in a Kent County field on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in June 2009.
Maryland State Police reported that they found inconsistencies as they investigated her husband’s account that a masked gunman had carjacked the couple when they stopped at a roadside service area in New Jersey while traveling south from New York City. Police provided no explanation at the time for how Ryan Holness’ leased car wound up near a bus stop in Washington, D.C.
Federal prosecutors, who assumed jurisdiction in the case, told jurors at Holness’ 2011 trial in Baltimore that there indeed was another culprit involved in the crime, an accomplice to the defendant. A prosecutor said that Holness’ planning of the crime included checking bus schedules online to devise an “escape hatch” for the accomplice to get away after abandoning the car, and that the accomplice did so.
This week, the prosecutors’ office reported that DNA evidence found in the car linked Campbell to the crime.
“We vigorously contest the charges,” Gary Edward Proctor, Campbell’s lawyer, said Thursday from his office in Baltimore.
Toward the end of Ryan Holness’ trial, a prosecutor told jurors that Holness, who lived in Lexington Park, had four or five girlfriends, including one in his native homeland of Jamaica who was the mother of his son. Holness wanted to marry her, the prosecutor said, and Holness posed as his wife online to get a $500,000 insurance policy in her name that listed him as the beneficiary.
Serika Holness’ body had 58 knife wounds when police found it in the field near the Crumpton community, the prosecutor said.
A lawyer for Ryan Holness argued to the jurors that the defendant tried to protect his 27-year-old wife, and the lawyer told jurors that the unknown assailant should be the person on trial.
Holness told police that the assailant tied him up and knocked him out, according to a prosecutor, who argued that Holness instead “put a little duct tape around his neck” and faked injuries to explain his delay in seeking help at a nearby house, so he could first be sure that his wife was dead and that the accomplice had gotten away.
The prosecutors’ office reported after the trial that Holness was in pretrial custody at the Kent County jail when he wrote a confession letter “purporting to be from the real killer.”