Sgt. 1st Class Maliek Kearney is accused of killing his wife, Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez, nearly three years ago in her home in Severn, Maryland
An Army sergeant’s former mistress took the stand at his homicide trial on Wednesday, recounting in detail how she allegedly helped him plan and carry out the killing of his estranged wife nearly three years ago, according to local TV station WJZ and the Baltimore Sun .
Not only did 33-year-old Dolores Delgado fabricate an alibi for Sgt. 1st Class Maliek Kearney as he drove from South Carolina to Maryland and back, she reportedly testified, she also let him use her car and her gun as he headed to the home of his spouse, 24-year-old Army Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez.
What’s more, Delgado said in federal court in Baltimore that she had helped calculate approximately how much gas Kearney, 37, would need for his trip to Ramirez’s residence and, at his request, bought him extra cans so that he wouldn’t have to stop at a gas station while he drove, the Sun and WJZ report.
“He was planning to come up and kill his wife if she didn’t reconcile with him,” Delgado testified.
Kearney has pleaded not guilty to a charge of interstate travel to commit domestic violence resulting in death after Ramirez, who was stationed at Fort Meade, was found fatally shot in her townhouse in Severn, Maryland, on Aug. 25, 2015.
Delgado, an Army veteran, previously pleaded guilty to the same charge against Kearney and agreed to testify against her former lover. (She said she had a relationship with Kearney that began before he and Ramirez were married, according to the Sun.)
In announcing Delgado’s plea last summer, prosecutors described her as a “co-conspirator” in Ramirez’s killing. She and Kearney were arrested in the homicide in 2016. She is set to be sentenced in November.
On the stand this week, however, Delgado maintained that until Ramirez’s death she thought “there was some chance of Karlyn seeing Mr. Kearney and working things out,” according to the Sun.
Kearney’s defense team, who was set to cross-examine Delgado on Thursday, has contended that she is the one responsible for Ramirez’s death because she was jealous as Kearney was attempting to mend things with his wife, the Sun reports.
According to the paper, Kearney’s attorney, Kwasi Hawks, cited in court a Facebook message in which Delgado allegedly wrote, after Kearney attempted to overdose after an altercation with Ramirez, “The crazy b—- is going to be put out.”
The purported timing of the crime precludes Kearney’s involvement, his defense argued, as he showed up to work in South Carolina on both the Monday before the shooting and the Tuesday after, according to WJZ.
What’s more, Kearney’s attorney reportedly said, there was DNA found on Ramirez’s body that has never been identified.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Federal prosecutors have described the slaying as the violent end to the crumbling relationship between Kearney and Ramirez, who had wanted to end things.
“He didn’t want to take no for an answer,” Assistant U.S. Attorney James Warwick said in court on Monday, according to the Sun. “If he couldn’t have her, then no one was going to have her.”
At the time of Ramirez’s death, she and Kearney had recently separated and she had obtained a protective order against him, prosecutors said in 2017.
On the afternoon of Aug. 24, 2015, Kearney left Fort Jackson in South Carolina, where he was stationed, and traveled to Ramirez’s Severn home, prosecutors believe.
He entered Ramirez’s residence using a key and then shot her three times with a .357-caliber revolver, prosecutors allege. She had “attempted to calm her husband but she reiterated that she did not want to see him again.”
After Kearney killed Ramirez, he placed their 4-month-old daughter in her arms, prosecutors alleged.
He also, according to the prosecution, allegedly took her pants off and pulled her underwear down to make it look like she had been sexually assaulted.
Around the time of the killing, Delgado testified, she sent two text messages from Kearney’s phone to make it look like he was in South Carolina, according to the Sun. She said she was wracked by guilt as well as nerves and fear while Kearney was allegedly committing the killing.
“I could have called her,” Delgado said, the Sun reports. “I could have warned her. I could have told her to leave.”
When Kearney returned, she said, she torched his clothes and tossed the gun he used into Florida’s Banana River.
Maintenance workers summoned police to the scene of the shooting after finding a door at Ramirez’s house was open, the Sun reports. Officers found her dead upstairs with her baby girl asleep next to her.
“Fortunately,” prosecutor Warwick told the jury, “[her daughter] was not old enough to realize the gruesome death of her mother.” The girl is now being raised by Ramirez’s relatives, according to WJZ.
After the slaying, Delgado testified that Kearney was allegedly left distraught by his actions — even though, she claimed, he had vowed he would have killed Ramirez’s roommate along with her if the roommate had been home at the time.
“He said that he wanted to shoot himself after he did it,” Delgado said in court.
“He told me what he did,” she said, “and he asked me why I didn’t stop him.”