Most Read: Local

Crime Scene
Posted at 06:43 PM ET, 03/28/2011

Md. man faces life in wife’s murder

A Lexington Park man who was convicted Monday in connection with the murder of his wife concocted a story about a masked carjacker to try to cover up the crime, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland.

Ryan Holness, 30, a former U.S. Navy air traffic controller, was convicted in U.S. District Court in Baltimore of interstate violence related to the murder of his wife, Serika Dunkley Holness. He also was convicted of attempted witness intimidation and attempted obstruction of an official proceeding.

Serika Holness was found stabbed to death in Kent County, Md., on June 5, 2009. Federal authorities said they believe another person may have been involved in her killing, but only Ryan Holness has been charged.

Ryan Holness claimed that during a drive from New York to Maryland, he and his wife were attacked at a New Jersey rest stop by a masked assailant armed with a knife and gun, authorities said. He said the man forced them to drive to Maryland, then ordered them to stop along a country road.

Holness claimed the carjacker dragged him out of the vehicle and bound him, authorities said. He told police the assailant stabbed Serika Holness as she tried to flee. He said he wanted to help his wife, but the carjacker kicked him in the head and he blacked out.

Federal prosecutors said DNA and other evidence showed that Holness participated in his wife’s killing. Authorities also said Holness wrote a confession letter “purporting to be from the real killer,” and asked another person to mail it to The Washington Post. The letter was never sent, according to authorities.

Authorities said that a few weeks before Serika Holness was killed, her husband took out a $500,000 life insurance policy on her. He was the sole beneficiary,

Holness is scheduled to be sentenced June 9. He faces a maximum of life in prison.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

By  |  06:43 PM ET, 03/28/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company