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Man Convicted Of Murdering Corrections Officer Gets Life Without Parole

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–The prison inmate convicted of killing a corrections officer will spend the rest of his life in prison but will not be put to death.

Weijia Jiang has reaction to the sentence from the victim’s family.

The complicated deliberations lasted for a week, and the victim’s family is relieved to have a sentence– even though it’s not the capital punishment they hoped for.

Family members of Cpl. David McGuinn embraced each other after hearing his killer will die behind bars.

“It does put some closure on it. Of course, it’s going to be a lot of time before I could move past that,” said Crystal Damore, McGuinn’s sister.

After deliberating for a week, jurors sentenced Lee Stephens, 32, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. They could have given him the death penalty.

“It is a severe, long lasting draconian punishment. Make no mistake about that. This was not a slap on the wrist,” said Gary Proctor, Stephens’ lawyer.

In 2006, Stephens murdered McGuinn inside the now-closed Maryland House of Correction in Jessup.

McGuinn was working as an officer at the time. Stephens was serving a life sentence for another murder.

The case marks the first time prosecutors used  DNA evidence to pursue the death penalty under Maryland’s new capital punishment law.

Jurors had to weigh the crime against a long list of mitigating factors. Jurors came up with several reasons of their own not to give Stephens the death penalty. They wrote about his violent childhood, filled with poverty and sexual abuse.

Stephens’ mother and sister would not comment.

Jurors also said the state failed to provide a safe prison. For the McGuinn family, no explanation is enough.

“The only question I have is ‘Why?’ I’m pretty sure if I asked him he would never have the answer,” said Shayna McGuinn, victim’s daughter.

“I try to replace ugly memories with fond memories of him,” said Crystal Damore, McGuinn’s sister.

Even though Stephens was already serving a life sentence, back then he was eligible for parole. Now he’ll die in prison.

Another inmate is charged in this case. He’ll have a hearing next month to determine if he’s competent to stand trial.


One Comment

  1. steve says:

    If this guy did not receive the death penalty, then who should receive it? The state of Maryland. is so soft on killers it’s ridiculous. If he was in Texas or Florida, his ass would be heading to death row, but not in Md. How could the jurors not vote for death in this situation???????

    1. primo says:

      Steve you should had gone to court and sat in the pulpit and listen to the evidence proferred by the State and you would have known whether the death penalty was proper or not. If you did not do that then STFU.

    2. STR8 AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE FOR Marriage Equality says:

      Shut up Steve…idiot. The death penalty does nothing.

  2. David Capettini says:

    Why didn’t we just give him a Popsicle? Will we wait until he kills someone else? I am not big on the death sentence, but is we don’t give it to this guy, then who?

    1. primo says:

      David you should had gone to court and sat in the pulpit and listen to the evidence proferred by the State and you would have known whether the death penalty was proper or not. If you did not do that then STFU.

  3. Tom says:

    So basically he got no punishment at all for the murder – he was already under a life sentance – this should make us all sick!

    1. primo says:

      Tom you should had gone to court and sat in the pulpit and listen to the evidence proferred by the State and you would have known whether the death penalty was proper or not. If you did not do that then STFU.

  4. T. Wheeler says:

    People who do not behave themselves in society should be sent to prison; people who will not behave themselves in prison should be executed. What possible rationale exists for keeping this animal alive?

  5. Amanda says:

    Great, now we all get to pay to continue keeping him alive.

  6. pist off md res says:

    O’malley should be happy since he’s against the death penalty.This is great news to all murderers in prison. Would someone stick a mike in front of O’malley so he could say how happy he is with this decision, and how this guy can be rehabilitated.I am ashamed to be a Maryland citizen today.To all the law enforcement officers out there I would like to say THANK YOU for the job you do everyday to keep us safe.To the O’malley/Brown admin and everyone who voted for them ,you can give yourselves a collective pat on the back because you all had a hand in this decision.

    1. primo says:

      Perhaps you should had gone to court and sat in the pulpit and listen to the evidence proferred by the State and you would have known whether the death penalty was proper or not. If you did not do that then STFU.

      1. gorillaman says:

        Primo, U suc a donkey dic.

  7. yousefthe giant says:

    If I were a prison guard I would be mighty unhappy & looking over my shoulder.

  8. camo says:

    So now this guy can go back to prison and kill anyone he wants and not be subject to a harsher sentence. The state of Md. just handed this P.O.S a “KILL ANYONE IN JAIL FREE ” card

  9. Working Poor says:

    This guy murdered a corrections officer. He is going to prison for life where he will be surrounded by corrections officers, some of whom probably knew the corrections officer this guy killed. The only difference between him getting a life sentence and if he had gotten the death penalty, is if he had gotten the death penalty we would all be paying for his appeals for the next 20 years. Trust me, I think justice will be done much quicker this way.

  10. hahaha says:

    Next time he’ ll be placed on double secret probation

  11. Michael says:

    How many more Officers does he have to kill to be put on death row?! Even if they chose not to give him the death penalty they should have still put him on death row so he had to spend every minute of everyday in fear not knowing if he was going to die. Officer McGuinn didnt have a chose in his life ending so why should Stephens? My wife wishes she would have been on that jury!! On the jury they should have had half as Officer’s spouses (wife/husband) & the other half as everyday people (no disrespect. As everyday people i mean just other people that are not related to law enforcement) Maybe all of the jury should become a Correction Officer for a day & i bet u they would be changing there mind real quick!


    Officer McGuinn is no longer breathing GOD’s air. Why should Mr. Stephens be allowed to continue to breathe GOD’s air? If I was on the jury, I would have pushed for the death penalty. I would have held out without ever waivering. It would have been a HUNG JURY.

  13. One mad girl says:

    I am right along with you all. This is just crazy

    Here’s a question for CBS a juror said “Jurors also said the state failed to provide a safe prison” Where’s the follow up story????? What is the state doing to change this?
    I am SOOOOO close to other case that happened at this same jail and still nothing has changed NOTHING.. It’s like lets make sure the inmate is ok and let’s make sure all his rights are in check. HELLO what about the Officer’s and teir rights to be protected and to be able to protect themseleves.. CBS mark you calendar’s cause you will have another story to report soon I am sure. If we don’t make them pay for their crimes they’re just gonna keep doing the crime.. .

  14. ashley says:

    REALLY????? What makes them think it won’t happen again??

  15. ashley says:

    And btw….primo can you come up with something new to say? I’m just saying!

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