Fort Sam Houston NCO, girlfriend charged in 2015 death of Fort Meade soldier
By KAT BOUZA | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 7, 2016
An Army soldier and his girlfriend have been charged in the 2015 shooting death of his wife, who was also in the Army.
The San Antonio Express-News reported that Sgt. 1st Class Maliek Kearney, 35, and Dolores Delgado, 31, were taken into custody on federal warrants Thursday after being indicted by a Maryland grand jury on a charge of interstate travel to commit domestic violence resulting in death.
Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez, 24, who was stationed at Fort Meade, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in her townhome near the base on Aug. 25, 2015.
Ramirez's 5-month-old daughter, Kattelaya Vale Kearney, was found unharmed next to her. Kearney is the father of the child.
Kearney, currently stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, was based at Fort Jackson in South Carolina at the time of the slaying, which provided an alibi for his whereabouts and allowed police to initially dismiss Kearney as a suspect in the case.
"I am grateful to the police and prosecutors who have been working tirelessly to pursue justice in this case,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.
The indictment claims Kearney and Delgado traveled from South Carolina to Maryland with the intent to injure and kill Ramirez, but does not indicate who pulled the trigger.
Ramirez, a Del Rio, Texas, native, joined the Army in 2013. She met Kearney while stationed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea and became pregnant in 2014.
According to the Army Times, Ramirez transferred to Fort Meade with the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade in December 2014. She worked for the National Security Agency, prompting investigators to initially believe she was killed due to her high-level security clearance and access to NSA’s headquarters.
Following the birth of their daughter, Ramirez and Kearney married in July 2015. The couple had not lived together and had only been married five weeks when Ramirez was killed.
"They were a newly married couple, there was no separation agreement," Anne Arundel County Police Sergeant John Poole told Crime Watch Daily in March. "However, there was a bit of tension because he was stationed in South Carolina."
Kearney's lawyer told the San Antonio Express-News that his client says he is innocent. If convicted, he and Delgado could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.