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Jury Finds Convicted Felon Guilty of All Charges in Retrial in Murder of Former Federal Protective Services Officer

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that a jury found William McDonald, 41, of Glen Burnie guilty of first-degree felony murder, 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 in the death of Benjamin Curtis, a former federal protective services officer.

The defendant will be sentenced on January 10, 2022 and the State is seeking life without the possibility of parole.

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the loved ones of the victim. I hope this verdict provides some peace to you. This was truly a long time coming,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “This case was at first a cold case, and then had several issues that delayed bringing it to a just conclusion that included a mistrial and being overturned on appeal. I am pleased that with the retrial of this case and the jury’s verdict it is clear that my office will continue to pursue justice for all victims, no matter how long it may take. I would like to thank the joint efforts of 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 crucial work that lead to this conviction.”

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, a former federal police officer, and a female passenger were sitting in his 2002 Ford Expedition in the rear parking lot of an establishment located in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road in Odenton, Md, 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 in the car 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. Later that day, Anne Arundel County Homicide Detectives interviewed the occupant who said that she traveled to Atlantic City with her boyfriend, his daughter and another male passenger. She said that she was aware that the gun was in the car and her boyfriend got the gun from a male who lives somewhere near Old Stage Road.

The boyfriend spoke with detectives and said that he got the gun from a guy named Will, who stated that he stays in a residence located off Quarterfield and Old Stage Road. Anne Arundel County Homicide Detectives obtained an arrest photo of William Lloyd McDonald and constructed a photo line up to include McDonald's photo and both individuals identified William McDonald as the person who sold them the handgun. Prosecutors recovered a letter McDonald wrote to an acquaintance seeking to silence witnesses against him in this case-a pivotal piece of evidence the jury considered in this case.

The Honorable Cathy Vitale presided over the case.

Topics: States Attorney
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