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Convicted Felon Receives Life Plus 45 Years in Retrial in Murder of Former Federal Protective Services Officer

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that William McDonald, 41, of Glen Burnie was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus 45 years for the first degree felony murder of Benjamin Curtis, a former federal protective services officer, two counts of armed robbery, use of a handgun in a crime of violence and possession of a regulated firearm after a conviction for a crime of violence.

A jury found the defendant guilty of all the charges on October 28, 2021.

“Justice for the family and friends of Mr. Curtis was a long time coming. Initially, this was a cold case for many years and then once it was charged, had a number of challenges including a mistrial, and later being overturned on appeal due to a procedural error. The case was retried last year and a jury found the defendant guilty of all charges,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “This outcome reflects our dedication to getting justice for victims regardless of the passing of time and the difficulties that come with handling complicated cases. I would like to thank the Atlantic City Police, New Jersey State Police Crime Lab, Maryland State Police Crime Lab, Fort Meade Military Police, Montgomery County Police Department and the Anne Arundel County Police Department for their contributions and support which led to the successful prosecution of the case.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly Poma prosecuted this case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.

On August 12, 2006, the victim, Benjamin Curtis, and a female passenger were sitting in his 2002 Ford Expedition in the rear parking lot in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road in Odenton when they were confronted by an unknown black male armed with a handgun. The defendant, later identified as William McDonald, pointed the weapon at Mr. Curtis and demanded money and the passenger’s purse. The victims gave the defendant both items. The defendant then got into the rear seat and told the female passenger to remove her shirt. The defendant then told the female that wasn’t enough and told her to remove more clothing. At that time the victim attacked the defendant and was shot in the head during the struggle. The female passenger fled the vehicle and ran to a security gate at nearby Fort Meade. Fort Meade Police responded to the scene and found Mr. Curtis alive but unconscious. Anne Arundel County Police and Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the victim to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he was later pronounced deceased.

On September 5, 2006, Atlantic City Police recovered a Glock .40 caliber handgun during a traffic stop that was previously reported stolen during the robbery of a residence in Anne Arundel County. The female occupant told police officers that she purchased the gun from a guy in Maryland. Six days later, on September 11, 2006, Anne Arundel County Homicide Detectives transported the recovered spent shell casing recovered from the victim’s 2002 Ford Explorer to the New Jersey State Police Ballistics Unit for a comparison test and it revealed that the recovered shell casing was a match to the recovered gun. Anne Arundel County Homicide Detectives interviewed the several witnesses who identified William Lloyd McDonald as the individual who had sold them the handgun shortly after the homicide.

Prosecutors recovered a letter McDonald wrote from jail to an acquaintance where he sought to silence the witnesses against him. This pivotal piece of evidence was admitted at trial and the jury convicted McDonald on all counts.

The Honorable Cathy Vitale presided over the case.

Topics: States Attorney
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