COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) —A man accused of using a baseball bat to murder one of his neighbors in Columbia, Howard County asked a judge to waive his bail review Monday.
He is charged in the fatal beating of Amanda Harris.
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Howard County Police Police put the Columbia murder suspect under surveillance and observed him smoking a cigarette. They collected his used cigarette butt and matched it to a pack of cigarettes found next to victim Harris’ body. Harris’ boyfriend William Webb was beaten in the attack.
The suspect lived just 130 yards from the victim, according to police.
Charging documents WJZ obtained reveal Orellana-Lemus used Webb’s cell phone after the killing, which they found at the bottom of a dumpster between their apartment buildings.
They say he repeatedly called his girlfriend on the stolen phone the day of the killing. Police also say he gave that girlfriend a bag of jewelry belonging to the deceased victim.
Detectives placed Orellana-Lemus under surveillance and recovered a Marlboro Gold cigarette he discarded. They also found Marlboro Gold packaging near Harris’ body.
Police say Orellana-Lemus was on probation at the time of the murder for the burglary of another neighbor’s home less than two years ago. He received less than a year behind bars.
The victim in that case was in court Monday. She told WJZ he should have been given a harsher sentence. She says he hid in her apartment and terrorized her.
The victim in that case asked WJZ not to identify her. She said she was shaken after learning about the murder and feels the judge in her case handed down a sentence that was not harsh enough. She also said Orellana-Lemus should have faced other charges in her case.
“He entered my apartment, and I woke up in the middle of the night with him standing right next to my bed without wearing any kind of clothes—just underwear,“ she told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “I believe he was hiding in my apartment when I came back from walking my dog. He waited for me to go to bed, and when he felt it was appropriate, he came out of my closet. He ran away after my dog tried to attack him and was arrested about five minutes afterwards. He should’ve faced more serious charges.“
Court records in that case show he was given a one-year sentence with everything suspended but two months. It’s unclear if he fully served those two months in jail.
“This was a tragedy. It could’ve been prevented,“ the earlier victim said. “When I heard about what happened, I went through that night all over again.“
She told Hellgren she is friends with the latest victims. “They are an amazing family. I don’t think they had any enemies—just a wonderful family,” she said.
“My apartment is located just one block from William and Amanda’s. I can’t help but feel guilty as well because if a different sentence was given to [Orellana-Lemus] at that time, probably this would not be happening,“ she said.
She read from the victim impact statement she wrote the judge in her case. “I told that judge, ‘I hope the defendant does not repeat his offense ever again.’”
She said she does not believe Orellana-Lemus knew his latest victims.
He is being represented by the public defender’s office. His next court date is June 5th.
The judge ordered 23-year-old Wilson Orellana-Wilson not to have contact with any witnesses. He will remain behind bars.
“I feel more confident that he’s not going to be on the street. He’s going to be in jail. Hopefully, this time, he serves a longer sentence.“ The previous victim said.
Family members of Harris called her a loving daughter, friend, sister and stepmom. They had a celebration of life at the Burgee Henss Seitz Funeral Home in Baltimore on Monday.
Webb’s family has started an online fundraiser to pay for his medical bills.